Thursday, September 9, 2021

Where'd our common ground go?


Ullr the husky pup sitting on wood slab porch looking out at meadow and pine trees.
Ullr the husky pup on a front porch

How does that go…if the world had a front porch? 

My fellow SFF Seveners have posted some great takes on this week’s topic and they’re all different. Isn’t that fabulous! Each of us have our own backgrounds and experiences—differences are what makes the human race interesting…and keeps us from the robotic monotony portrayed in so many sci-fi novels. 

But with the rise of social media we’ve lost our ability to discuss respectfully and continue to be courteous afterwards. There is no longer the ability to agree to disagree. There’s no more front porch. 

I believe there’s enough politics on the socials and not enough compassion. It’s too easy to shout opinions and accusations at a computer screen and too easily forget that there’s another human being on the other side. We’ve lost our ability to sit down next to one another over a cup of coffee or plate of food. 

On Netflix there’s a show called Somebody Feed Phil. In Season 4, episode The Mississippi Delta, Phil goes to Jim’s Cafe, it’s been open since 1909. In this episode Phil joins a table of elderly gentlemen who sit at the same table every day and to hold their place they set a paper placard that states: Table of Knowledge.

This group of men are friends, despite having different political stances. Phil asks them about this and they tell him they “agree to disagree and be agreeable about it”…and because of that, they're able to talk about their opinions and continue to enjoy their egg sandwiches at the same time! 

It’s a great show if you’re up for binging. Phil is funny and the people he meets, as well as the food he gets to eat, are fantastic!

But it’s the Mississippi Delta episode that encompasses why I believe we all need a front porch to meet on. If all of our countries leaders were to sit down to eat and visit over some cocktails we might reach more of a middle ground, maybe things would happen faster and help those who really need it. 

No, I don’t think everything can be fixed on the front porch. But I do know food and drink help us find common ground and with common ground comes respect. 

I’ll continue to spread happiness and compassion wherever I can, as well as protect my mental health by abstaining from getting into politics online with strangers that tend to treat others as less than.

Have a great weekend, everyone!