Speak Up!

One of the more challenging things that we have to do from time to time is to tell those people in the group with which we find our identity that they need to tone it down, cool their jets, and in some of the more extreme cases, stand down.

This is being said without regard for your personal political affiliation. I would advise this to anyone, regardless of political, religious, or economic doctrines and beliefs, or identity groups, clubs or causes.

Sometimes you have to tell some of the people on your own side to knock it off. And there is, in a sense, a responsibility to do so. You carry this responsibility to your group because when those on the outside of your group tell them to knock it off they will do the opposite.

They need to hear it from within the group. Those not in the group are, in our time, viewed as the enemy; of course, the enemy will tell them to stand down or there will be blood! But when one of their own starts to notice it going over the top, they might start to listen.

I wish I did not need to point out that those who disagree with you are not your enemy. But, this is the world in which we live. Just to be clear, there are people who can have a deep friendship and yet disagree on major political and/or religious issues. I know this to be true because my political views disagree with the majority of my friends, but I still love and respect them. I like to think they feel the same about me as well.

Back on point; they need to hear it from one of their own.

There are no guarantees. But if you believe in your cause or group, you need to be sure it is seen as legitimate and not extremist.

Take a look around at how the rhetoric has been ratcheted up on every side of the political spectrum. You have people on one side calling for actions that would most definitely be against their own best interest in the long-term, but they are screaming for it because they want that pacifier now. Just a few short weeks ago, some of the people on the other side were readying for rebellion.

The level-headed people in each group owe it to the rest of their group to ensure peace and well-being. In order for this to happen, level heads must prevail. Before this can happen, those who see the truth and the big picture will need to speak up and let the extreme elements know that their actions are over-the-top and will not be tolerated.

I honestly believe that this advice applies to many levels of conflict. I also believe that the opposing sides share more common ground than they care to admit, or possibly are afraid to admit. But the larger goals of peace and prosperity should not be lost amid distractions of heated minutia.

Anyway, that is how I see it. I hope all of you are doing well and for those who celebrate it, I hope you have a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving!

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