Empathy for the Other Side?

Work continues on the next batch of songs. Right now, I have 10 songs with either lyrics, lyrics & chords, lyrics & some chords, or essentially complete tunes. I think I’d like to have another 2 before I start woodshedding and recording, and remember, I also plan to do alternate versions for at least a few - possibly all - of them. It should be interesting to see where things go.

I don’t keep track of current events/news much. It often saddens me or makes me angry, because, let’s face it. There’s a lot of misery in the world, and when it comes to most news - if it bleeds, it leads. So, I don’t pay much attention. If I hear something I want more info about, I’ll seek information online from a number of sources. But, the tragedy in New Zealand and the state of the USA have inspired some thoughts I’d like to discuss briefly.

History tells us our species has a tendency to kill our own. We’ve almost constantly been at war, and when we haven’t, those with power, status, and wealth have sought to keep it or attain more at the expense of others. I’m not going to list examples or offer proof; feel free to research my claims if you like. I’m not presenting a scholarly paper; I’m discussing opinion based on personal knowledge, for whatever that’s worth.

We categorize, and tend to associate with those like ourselves. It’s natural. With that comes some prejudice, which isn’t the same as racism, but often leads to it. Add any kind of belief or fanaticism - especially religion - and you get things like the Crusades or World Wars. And, while many would like to think we have evolved and become more accepting, I don’t think it’s true for most of the world.

And you know what? Trump is an example, and maybe not in the way you’d think. I’ve never seen or even heard of such a divisive President. His supporters are ardent, and his detractors are equally so - perhaps worse - and there is a distinct lack of discussion or understanding by either side, though it’s most easily seen in those who did not vote for him.

Don’t believe me? How many people do you know who have said - in conversation or through social media - that they want nothing to do with Trump supporters? I don’t recall such open derision with Obama, though there were horrible remarks about The White House being called White for a reason.

My point is this - most of us rarely empathize with opposing views, much less give them rational discussion - self included. Don’t get me wrong - I think the man is a buffoon and has been a complete joke in many ways, but I’m sure he’s done some good.

No, really.

I mean, I can’t come up with anything off the top of my head, but at the very least, things don’t seem to have gotten worse.

My point is if you can’t rationally discuss opposing viewpoints, there’s a problem. Hell, someone from my childhood blocked me on FB, apparently because I’m opposed to the wall. I say “apparently” because he didn’t actually say much beyond “good to know what side you’re on” before he did it.

That’s actually a good microcosm of what I mean. I said the wall wasn’t the way to deter illegal immigration - the only way to do it effectively, in my opinion, is to make it unprofitable to employ illegals. Fine the hell out of employers. Yes, there are fines now, but they’re not nearly heavy enough. His response? “Good to know what side you’re on” and he blocks me. How does that help anyone? Rather than attempt a discussion or try and sway me to his side with reasonable arguments, he opts out of my life.

It’s not like we were close, but I was still surprised. I’ve blocked people on social media, but it’s always been because I’ve been insulted or the person has insulted people I value. It’s never been because of opposing views on…well, anything. Sadly, I think his actions are closer to being the rule rather than the exception.

Can we evolve? Is it possible? Sure. Will it happen? I don’t think so, at least not entirely. There will always be human beings who seek to exploit or exclude others. I think it’s part of our DNA, and honestly, I’m not all that concerned. I’ll be dead in 20-30 years, tops, and if things get significantly worse before then, I’ll check out.

That’s it for now. Be good.

Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment:

Tip Jar


For bookings, please use this email address:



Social Stuff

Want to be on my mailing list?

I promise to only share stuff I think is important and I will keep your info private.