It is so easy to get caught up in the hype, and to focus on the negative. I am sure there are some great biological explanations for why we often pay attention to bad experiences more strongly than good ones (such as: it's important to not eat the berry that makes you sick, but no big deal if you do or don't eat the one that you felt fine after) but the negativity of the media is far too skewed. I want to hear the success stories, I want to read about people who work together, I want to know what hopes and dreams we have. This happens with everything- war, natural disaster and politics. Currently I'm facing the presidential election news, and all I see are stories about Palin. Yes, I needed to hear that she had been chosen, and I want to know her stance, but that is all. I still want to hear about Obama's speech, which I actually didn't get to read about until today when I made a conscious effort to search the web for it. The Republicans timed things perfectly, and we all fell for it. Now, once I make my statement on who I support, I try to redirect conversations away from the rumors about Palin's family. I want to focus on progress and facts, hear about the issues and not the twisted quotes taken out of context. I hope that isn't too much to ask for.
I want paragraphs like this, a direct quote from Obama's speech, to get the attention it deserves. Here is a candidate who recognizes our differences, but can make some very strong positive statements to unify the country. Progress.
"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."