When I was a little girl I remember reading about the Great Depression. Reading the Grapes of Wrath was the first time I’d heard about poverty. Everything I knew about the poor started there. Later I learned that it was Black Monday that kicked off the Great Depression. Men jumped out of windows because the stock market crashed and I thought “why in the world?’. I made it my life’s purpose to make as much money as I could. I was afraid of being poor and I was afraid of the stock market. I became an accountant.
Did you know that men did not leap from windows on Black Monday? I didn’t until about 5 years ago. I spent a good chunk of my life believing that false narrative.
These days when something happens and adrenaline fueled reports are whizzing by faster than falling stars I have to sit back and breathe. Give the journalists a few days to contradict each other. And try to weed through the information. What happened? Where? And why?
Right now we have people in our country who are being fed false narratives, dangerous false narratives. There are groups of people who sincerely believe if they don’t act then nothing will change. Unfortunately, their action is hate driven and their energy is spent hurting good people.
How do we unravel these dangerous false narratives? What did they come to believe with so much passion they are willing to give up their own life and take so many of their “enemies” with them?
We can and should work on providing better mental health for those that need it. Many countries have worse mental health issues and they aren’t experiencing our problems with mass shooters. So it must be the guns?
We can and should work on gun access laws. However, had these men/women (women committing mass shootings is super rare) not had guns they would have made bombs, plowed into crowds or poisoned food.
When you grow up believing you are superior and everyone else is trash. If you grow up neglected and your only friends believe they are superior to everyone else. When you have nobody you admire to break that narrative then you become hard wired to that narrative. When you become an adult and you hear speeches with the words “them vs us” from powerful people you respect you will fit that into your false narrative. No amount of arguing will convince them that their entire life has been spent on a false narrative. They will turn all their hurts into that hate driven story.
WE have a problem and it’s an US vs THEM mentality. We are good they are bad.
I’ve seen sports fans get so riled up for their team US vs THEM that they will literally spew intense hatred for the opposing fans. There was a story recently where a man slammed a 13 year old boy to the ground in Montana for not removing his hat during the anthem. I’ve seen men and women yell at small children wearing opposing team jerseys.
How does someone begin to hate a whole group of people???? Dangerous false narratives.
That’s the problem we must solve.
Examine your beliefs and then take a good look at how you feel and treat other people who do not believe the same way . ￼ In nearly all cases if you start to rage when you see a certain color or hear certain words then you have something to work on. The way we talk about our beliefs will fuel hate or it can heal some of those dangerous false narratives.
If we want a better world we need to find a better way to disagree than with toxic words. They do matter. People are listening.