Graphic by Nate Barton
No matter what side of the political spectrum it’s from, the view of our country isn’t too pretty these days. People are angry, people are scared, people are full of hate, and it’s exhausting. None of that means we can’t make a change and be positive.
What the world lacks at the moment is positivity. We are constantly given a negative picture of the other side. “70 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans say they are afraid of the other party,” according to the article “Partisanship and Political Animosity in 2016” published June 22, 2016 by Pew Research Center.
Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show,” was live on election night, and after the results came in, he gave a speech that highlighted the divide in this country. “We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit of it so you can hate the other side, and it tastes kind of good and you like how it feels and there’s a gentle high to the condemnation.”
Hating, or being negative about the other side is easy because the negative traits of either side are always on display. What’s difficult is seeking out the traits that unite us. This is the step we need to take because if we don’t, things won’t get better.
I’m not a blind optimist because I don’t like to pretend that things are fine right now, but I do believe that things can better. “Realistic Optimism or Hope, has the ability to be fluid and flexible while continuing to reinvent its end goal. This person hopes for a good outcome but also works hard to accomplish it,” according to Jill Neimark’s article, “The optimist revolution” published May 1, 2007 by Psychology Today.
If positivity is going to spread, we must begin now. It starts by looking for good traits in the other side instead of negative ones. Seriously consider why someone thinks the way they do. Have open, face-to-face discussions that are based on understanding and not searching for disagreements. Read a diverse set of arguments instead of staying inside a bubble of like-minded media. When we start to understand each other instead of fighting, we will actually begin to make a difference.
Follow Sarah Kiker on Twitter: @SarahKiker3