Put People First, Dare to Disagree, and Other Ways We Might Fix Our Culture

| Leadership

Following the Orlando shooting, I noticed a lot of things that deeply troubled me:

  1. People rushed to politics. And with that came name calling and deep partisan divides.
  2. We rushed to blame the attack on something: Radical Islam, guns, mental illness, a lack of Christianity in our culture, and more.
  3. Within the media, the conversation was about the tragedy and the shooter/what his motives may have been. However, we spent zero time talking about the victims, their stories, the lives they lived, or the people they left behind.

I believe that we have gone off track— not in a political sense, but in a cultural sense.

I believe we are too obsessed with the drama that surrounds tragedy. We live for drama, and events like this feed into that hunger.

From my perspective, it seems as if everything has become centered around politics. Any issue, any events — there’s always a political angle to it. And maybe that’s just because I work in political media, and that’s what I see every day on my timeline, but I get a sense that it’s actually a much broader thing. I think ordinary people are noticing this, and getting frustrated by it.

I believe that we need a change in our cultural attitudes. We need to reevaluate what we want and what will make us happy.

Negativity won’t make you happy. Drama won’t make you happy (I hope).

But for change to take place, it takes individuals who are willing to be amongst the first to change. On my side, as someone who works in media, I see the need for change on that front: our coverage of events needs to be more about the people and issues that unite us.

But even more so, it’s my hope that we can start talking about people in better ways. Instead of calling someone with whom we disagree with stupid or evil, we need to be able to say, “I disagree, but that’s okay.” We need to recognize that dissent is not grounds for anger or tense relations, but a chance for deeper understanding and discussion.

“This all sounds nice, but it will never happen,” you may say.

Well yeah, with that attitude, you’re right — it never will.