There Are No Agendas
Can we all agree it's been a tempestuous year for our planet? It's caused fear, fear-mongering, trembling, rage, outrage, and angst. This is all amplified in the good ole U.S. of A. due to the pending presidential election that has more flamboyant and diametrically opposed personalities than a Real World season.
Through our collective attempts to deal with tragedy a growing discord has risen. It all comes down to the same desire to deal with suffering, how to limit suffering, and everyone has an opinion on how best to deal with it. In the disagreement of opinions the word agenda is more prevalent than ever before. It's not a new barb, but a more often used one in recent months to demean the opposing side's beliefs.
"You're touting the liberal agenda... Well you're proclaiming the conservative agenda."
Where do the agenda committees meet?
To have an agenda, someone or someones have to set said agenda. So where do those meetings take place and who is a part of them? I mean do the conservatives have a secret bunker in Mississippi with an attached gun range? Is every member of Fox News invited or do they invite large corporation owners to join in? I bet they have amazing barbeque and sweet tea...terrible beer though.
Do the liberals meet in San Francisco? If they do are they all smoking weed while it happens while singing kumbaya? And again who goes to those meetings? These agenda meetings come with all locally sourced food and feature gluten free cider.
And why on earth don't the moderates have an agenda? Or is their agenda so well hidden in plain sight we don't even recognize it? The moderates clearly meet at the coffee/tea shop (not to be confused with the coffee or tea shop because both are invited) in Kansas City called 'The Common Mug.' What do they eat praytell? Breakfast food and stout craft beer of course.
There are NO agendas.
The reality is there are no agendas. People have opinions, which is a good thing. Some individuals came to their opinions through their parents, others from respected mentors, and most people came to their conclusions based on the 5 people closest to them.
It doesn't matter how we all get to our opinions. It does matter how we engage with each other about them.
In the end, we all want the same thing. The way we talk about it sounds like we don't want the same thing, but really, we all desire peace, prosperity, security, and the ability to progress beyond our current means.
So instead of disregarding or demeaning another person's opinion by labeling it as whoever's agenda (again why don't the moderates have an agenda?) let's engage with them. Let's engage with each other in a way that acknowledges we all want to see human flourishing. We'd all go about it differently, and some of the ways people want to go about it can actually be detrimental to human flourishing (Donald Trump's wall anyone?).
There are no agendas. There's no great conspiracy from the left, right, or center which is being promoted unknowingly by the masses. We are all simply stumbling through life attempting to bring about change in places where it's clearly needed. So no matter where your opinion falls don't demonize the other side, engage with their humanity.
Maybe we can realize we're children playing at the edge of the ocean. We're enamored by the endless expanse of the horizon but terrified of its unfathomable power. No one is lacking fear or doubt, mystery or certainty. We are fragile creatures, young in mind and old in body. We inhabit this earth longing for the greater things in life. We can choose to play or we can choose to fight.
Perhaps it's in the conversation about creating a better world we'll actually see it manifest.