The Exhaustion of Self Righteousness

I am worn out.  Mentally fatigued. Exhausted!

I recently read a few Facebook and news feed stories that put me over the edge.  I am sure I am not alone in my exhaustion.   I do find it hard to understand how people can be so sure they are 100% right and others are “the devil”.

I meet thousands of people every year in my line of work.  I am sure I don’t agree with everything they believe and visa versa but I still find them to be good people with good hearts doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.   I work hard to educate them about the things I know and in turn they enlighten me about the things they know.  Synergy.

Why do we feel we must demonize others to make a point?  Why do we seek to slash and burn in a public forum, rather than have a private conversation that involves more questions than accusations?

Many years ago, I took a position managing a veterinary hospital that also ran the county animal shelter.  I had absolutely no shelter experience so when I started I was contacted by some animal activists about the gas chamber that was being used.  I appreciated their help because I was ignorant and they educated me.  They didn’t drag my name into the media – they picked up a phone and asked to sit down so they could explain their position.  And guess what…. I agreed with them!  We removed the gas chamber and began individual humane euthanasia by a veterinary technician.  With their help, we also reduced the need for as many euthanasias by increasing adoptions and helped raise funds for a brand-new shelter with 4 times the capacity.   That is what happens when we act like civilized human beings rather than a pack of rabid dogs attacking a downed calf.  It’s called collaboration.

People we have got to wise up.  We have got to stop being sucked in because vitriol is easy and investigation takes time.  When we attack a business, we do damage the owner – and maybe they deserve it – but we also damage all the innocent employees who are feeding their families at that job.  We also only hear one side of the story – skewed by the writer.  In my long experience with the public – (50+ years) I know that people embellish, exaggerate and flat out lie to make themselves out the hero or the innocent victim.     But here is the thing…there are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth. 

Let’s learn to be wise.  P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.   Don’t let it be you.