To all of my fellow Americans, lovers of freedom, and who are now living in the occupied zone;
may the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and peace of our creator fill you body, heart, mind, and soul.
Today I want to address the issue of division; what is it, what causes it, is all division bad or wrong, and how should we deal with it?
Let us start with a working definition:
disagreement between two or more individuals or groups, typically producing tension or hostility.
synonyms: disunity, disunion, conflict, discord, disagreement, dissension, disaffection, estrangement, alienation, isolation
Here we have what it is, pretty self explanatory. So let us move on to what causes division.
In short, division is caused by an unresolved disagreement over some issue, large or small, over which people choose to disassociate.
Disagreements happen for a variety of reasons, but, one of the most frequent is that one group or person's behavior is found to be objectionable to the other for some reason. There are a number of reasons, which might include: the need to be right, ego, needing others to agree because they are insecure, popularity, they are nosy busybodies, they jump to conclusions, they are hasty, I am sure there are many more but these are the ones that I see on a regular basis. The one that I will highlight now is the busybody.
What I see going on all around me every day are busybodies sticking their noses into other peoples business uninvited.
And to all of you that engage in this behavior, though this letter is not primarily addressed to you, in the event that your read it, I have some questions for you. To wit: Did they ask for your input or opinion? Maybe, maybe not. If not, shut up, sit down, and mind your own damn business. Maybe you think you are doing a public service by airing their “dirty laundry”. Odds are that you are just bored, gossiping, and seeking attention.
It is your commentary on other peoples private affairs that makes You a frequent cause of division. No one person has the whole story. You, commentator, do not have all of the information, you are not the all seeing eye, you are not the creator looking down from on high who knows the hearts and minds of all creation and the intimate details of every individuals daily life. Has it ever occurred to you, O commentator, that you do not know everything? That you might not have all of the facts and details? And, horror of horrors, that you might be wrong? Not only this, but, when your position is challenged you ignorantly and illogically defend of your position even in the face of contrary evidence. This also makes YOU divisive.
There can be a variety of reasons for such absurd behavior and I am sure that there is a very long clinical name for it, but alas, I am not a shrink so I won't delve any deeper into those reasons.
This is but one of the many types of people that cause division among us. They regularly find a tidbit of information, spread it around without any true purpose, and never bother to verify it. Frequently when asked to share the evidence to support their claims, they take it as a personal affront to their integrity that you would dare ask such an impugning question. They have an attitude of “I know things, I have seen proof, so you should just take my word for it.” without evidence, this behavior is nothing more than slander and gossip.
This leads to the question of, as I asked above, “is all division bad?” Let me ask you this, if someone of your acquaintance, someone known to you, is engaging in such behavior, causing damage to reputations, and persisting in said behavior despite having been taken aside, privately, and made aware by yourself and others, that their behavior is unacceptable, refuses to stop what they are doing, do you continue to associate with them? I should hope not.
Do you choose to associate with people that are violent criminals? Do you choose to associate with liars? How about reckless and dangerous people? I hope your answer to these questions is no. This is in fact, by definition, division; of the right kind.
Now I come to the crux of the matter; how should we deal with destructively divisive people?
First ask yourself these questions:
Can I just let this go?
Does it really matter?
Is there truly a disagreement or is it a misunderstanding?
Is the other persons position based on documented evidence?
Is my position based on documented evidence?
If I just let this go, will anyone be wrongfully harmed?
The first two questions go hand in hand. Is it possible to be the “bigger man” and agree to disagree? Does the point of contention really matter? Maybe, maybe not. That has to be determined on an individual basis depending on the specifics of the situation.
What is the difference between a disagreement and a misunderstanding? A misunderstanding is founded in the meaning of the words being used. I encourage you to verify the definitions being used by the other person. Does the person you are engaging in dialog mean what you think he means? Words mean different things to different people. Only when you are sure that you understand what the other person means can you determine if there is in fact a disagreement.
Evidence is an absolute necessity, without it your are doing nothing more than expressing your opinion and making and assertion, as the saying goes “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink”. Evidence is what takes your position out of the realm of opinion and into that of an argument based in fact. A word of warning here, if you express your opinion and make assertions, without evidence, and it causes damage to someones reputation, livelihood, family life, etc You open yourself to the possibility of a lawsuit for slander or liable.
Most disagreements and differences of opinion can and should just be let go as it is simply a waist of time if no one is being harmed.
If, however, someone is being harmed, that is where we have the moral responsibility to speak up, bring forth evidence and put a stop to the harm being done.
It is written in the scriptures that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses, a thing shall be established” so much the better if the witnesses have documents, screenshots, pictures, videos, what have you.
It is also written in the scriptures that “you shall not bare false witness.” You see, words can and do have eternal consequences, choose yours carefully.
It is incumbent upon us to take the moral high ground. Make the case, against the person being divisive and doing damage, with evidence and then let them make their defense. When their defense does not pass muster, shun them, refuse to associate with them, do not rise to the occasion and engage them in discussion, file lawsuits; shut them down but do so with class, integrity, and without name calling.
The war we are fighting is between truth and lies, good and evil, light and darkness. We must separate the good fruit from the bad, the wheat from the tares. I admonish you to put aside petty differences, look for common ground and build on it, then protect what has been built from those who would tare it down.
My the creator bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and give you peace.