Culture

When two tribes go to war

It’s been an interesting week. What started with a wave of horrible anxiety then led to food poisoning/a stomach bug, leaving me weak and having surely already reached my 2019 puke quota. I kept thinking I was better on both counts, but..nope. More crying, more inability to eat food other than toast.

I could make this a long post about physical and mental wellbeing, but I don’t feel I have any particular insights to give here. We all know that self-care is important, and that everyone has bad mental health days/weeks. And quite frankly, not feeling good is basically all I’ve thought about this week. I’m bored of it.

What I do want to do is communicate honestly about these things- it doesn’t need to be the focus of what I’m saying, but it’s important to me that it be on the table. Open and acknowledged- things were a bit shit for a few days. I don’t want to ever feel ashamed of that.

One unintended positive side effect of my shitty week was that I almost entirely missed the latest Brexit fiasco- woohoo!  I’ve been very much burying my head in the sand about the whole thing, not least because it takes so much energy to stay on top of the ins and outs that I’d rather just wait until something is actually happening or definitely not happening before I get too wrapped up in it. The only thing that has remained (get it, remained, like in the EU, like what we’re not doing..) clear throughout the whole scrambled crap of it all is that we are worryingly divided in this country at the moment.

And it’s not just Brexit. Almost every social and political issue seems to have us tearing each other to bits, and it’s a pattern that seems to be repeating itself elsewhere- across the world, we all seem to be moving further away from one another with an increasing gulf where the middle ground used to be.

when two tribes go to war
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Which is where my Frankie Goes to Hollywood inspired title comes in. What do we do when there are two completely opposing sides to every argument?

Full disclosure, I’m not coming from centrist place here. I’m fairly vocally leftie left left, as evidenced by, well, virtually everything about me, but I just don’t know how to cross the gap between my views and those on the other side.

I certainly don’t advocate for automatically disliking someone because of their political views – I cannot stand it when people refer to one another as, for example, ‘Tory c*nts’- most people are not all good or all bad, so why on earth would you think that their political affiliation automatically makes them evil? But, if I’ve put myself in another person’s shoes, looked at their opinions from their point of view, but still feel I have to disagree, and sometimes fervently, what do I do then?

Perhaps this is just a cyclical thing. Perhaps there always needs to be turbulent upheaval before a new order is created. It’s very difficult to see the wood for the trees at the moment, so it just feels…well, a total and utter mess.

What will the benefit of hindsight give historians about our era in the decades and centuries to come? Will there have been a shift towards one ‘tribe’ as the dominant way of thinking? Or will we have silo-ed ourselves even further?

I have no idea. Exciting though, isn’t it?

In a horrifying way.

 

 

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