Engaging political leaders and the power of being nice (I’m dead serious.)

Is it really that enough people are not aware of injustice that injustice still goes on, or is it that the cache of people who are actually positioned to affect change don’t care enough about the issues to work together and address them? Poverty has always been with us, and there have always been people seemingly unaffected by other people’s standards of living. There has always been the hope that if we address the edge of an issue, the rest will miraculously work itself out. I know that God is capable of working miracles and working through us, but do we want him to? If necessary changes in the world come to fruition, it’s because specific people and groups of people care enough about an issue to decide it is a priority long enough to patiently wait to unravel them. Real change takes years, failure, and for whatever godawful reason, grim headlines. And yet, if the right people don’t care in the first place, will anything get done? You can’t simply “inform” the people in your general radius that critical issues need to be addressed if the people with the ability to directly affect change still are disengaged.

Logistically speaking, how do you engage leaders who haven’t been paying attention and do not wish to be? Jesus was beloved, but the man also had a manner of flipping tables. What I wouldn’t give to have his sense of foresight in knowing which battles were worth fighting. Sometimes it feels as though knowing that the poor and widows will be with us always is a subtle invitation not to care, crafted greedily out of bent scripture.

I may not be popular in my opinion, but as much as I think it is good to not try to change the tone of how upset people are about current injustices of race, class, gender, etc., I know that politicians generally find a way to disengage if they can claim that everyone else was intimidating. As much as I believe there is truth in the sadness, and the anger, and the disdain, I think asking painfully honest questions from the assumption of kindness would actually be more productive right now.

If people were to be kind to politicians and could captivate the world’s attention directly in a way that draws permanent accountability, it would be harder for elected officials to disengage. It sounds terrible, but if you have the whole world watching you and all you respond with is the face of meanness, it doesn’t take long for people to abandon how they felt about having you be in office. I know it’s idealist and potentially wrong to say this, but there is so much mean going around right now that of someone were able to break it down by being nice and shift the world’s attention to positively cooperating from a place of peace, I think the basic human instinct in many people would gravitate towards those sources of media rather than more of attacking one another. The alarmingly hostile political climate in the US currently might make it easier for people who are uniting through the means of kindness to gain some traction.

It makes you wonder what will actually work. Seeing news of Kim Davis and other conservative politicians slandered in the news makes me sad, even I don’t agree with everything anyone has to say. Really, I’m most sad because in all of this, we don’t have to be mean. We can just disagree and leave her actions as a question of protocols and civics, instead of people flocking to attack her character. Even if you don’t like her, it’s just unnecessary. The situation doesn’t need to be blown out of proportion. It’s genuinely unhelpful.


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I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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