Sitting in the stillness of a rainy morning, Deb and I were reading. She read a story of the conflict in in our country between Democrats, Republicans and the Tea Party. The paper seemed to suggest the Tea Party wanted to turn over the whole establishment where as the Democrats and Republicans wanted to govern.
Across the coffee table, I was reading about the devastation of the civil war in Syria. Images of a city virtually destroyed stared out at me. 160,000 people have died in this protracted war. (In the midst of a statistical culture, I have to remind myself that each 1 represents a soul, a heart-beat, a loved one.)
As we sat in our dry little bungalow, I had a deep sense of gratitude for our ancestors in this country who had the wisdom to design a governing process which allowed freedom of speech. While I often weary of the speech that I sometimes hear (when I find it hard to comprehend how people could actually believe such things), I think it really is better to allow the anger and frustration to be expressed verbally than with guns and bombs.
And sometimes I get tired of all the propaganda that is spread by media biased in multiple directions, I can’t help but think the right to express ourselves is far better than to restrict speech and drive it deep underground. For long buried anger and frustration can explode in destructive violence. It seems better to allow the steam to escape from the pressure cooker than to allow it to build up and explode.
So, I swallow hard as I read and listen. And I express my own frustration and prejudice, grateful that I can wrestle with those with whom I disagree in a verbal battle rather than pulling out weapons of destruction that spread mayhem and death far beyond the bounds of the initial controversy.