Be Nicer

There’s a pretty depressing movie called, Seeking A Friend For The End of the Universe. It prominently features the song below, The Air That I Breathe by The Hollies. What a sensational song, the next time the wife and kids sneak out of the house and I have the opportunity to turn up the dial on my Marshall speaker and crank out a song that rattles the home, it will be this song.

An interesting side note about this song is that Radiohead utilized a similar chord progression in their song Creep and lost a lawsuit for that infringement. Coincidentally, I’ve been listening to Radiohead’s Creep often lately too, I guess I’m just in tune with this melody right now.

Here are the songs mashed together

There has been a lot going on in the world lately. When things get scary, people tend to do 3 things:

  1. They retreat (avoidance, hiding)
  2. They attack or become confrontational, everything becomes binary of good and evil, all or nothing
  3. They seek to understand why they are concerned, wrestle with the problem, work hard to minimize risks with a solution oriented focus

The first two approaches are easy, but unproductive because they either perpetuate or escalate the issue. The third approach is challenging because you must confront something that scares you, it is inherently complicated, and the best solution oftentimes does not satisfy 100% of the people.

Right now the World, America, even my neighborhood (teachers are striking) are struggling with COMPLEX, COMPLEX, COMPLEX issues. Politicians and Media are desperate for the public’s vote, so they dumb down the issues, go on attack and the public eats it up, perpetuating and exacerbating the issues. Unfortunately, this is not a cycle that can be broken by leadership, because leadership is determined by the masses and the masses are stuck in retreat (low voter turnout) or attack, so leaders give them what they want. Not only does this feed the cycle, it further isolates or polarizes sides, dumbing and dividing the population exponentially.

I don’t claim to have the solutions, but I think two simple things would help us all make the world a better place.

  1. Be Nicer
  2. Forget your position, focus on your goal – regardless of whether you are for or against abortion, guns, refugees, or  climate change, chances are you share common goals as the people on the other side of the issue. For example, let’s say you and your “opponent” agree that you want fewer unwanted/terminated pregnancies, the possible solutions become more abundant (greater access to counseling, improving education, enhancing adoption services, better access to birth control, etc.) and holy cow, you didn’t even need to fight about a stupid binary solution offered by the media/politicians (pro-choice or pro-lives).

Thank you for reading. Now go out, enjoy the weekend, and spread some holiday cheer.


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