Editor’s Page – November 2023

Light Up the Darkness

 I have come to the conclusion that there is far too much darkness in my life, in our lives, in the lives all over the planet. As I go through my day, I am witness to much that is dark, void of light, and the darkness is a destroyer of energy.

I can no longer stand to watch the political dysfunction that  passes for politics in the USA. I hear rumblings from Canada, there are protests in Mexico City, protests in the streets of the U.K., and now war between Israel and Palestine, war in the Ukraine and Russia. The war in Iraq continues to bomb ahead, with Afghanistan continuing on; anything we gained there, we’ve lost. One cannot help but feel the darkness in the world.

On a personal note, as I watch many interactions on a daily basis, I see more petulance. I see more selfish interactions, I hear a lot of shouting, and not much listening. It seems to me that there are a lot of people who have either lost or never learned the art of civil discourse.

Somehow it seems we need to learn to talk and listen to each other again. It is NOT okay for the infinitesimal minority to demand that they and they alone be heard. They have no more or less rights than the person next to them. Yet they receive a disproportionate coverage in the press. While they dominate, in this instance our Congress, the vital work of the people of the United States does not get done. I cannot believe how low our Congress has gone. It may have been dragged low by the few, but the majority have enabled this, and until the silent majority speaks up and stands up, we will continue to have dysfunctional government and darkness on the horizon.

I have seen the same thing happen to groups I associate with. About every five years a new group of people comes to  Lakeside. They are full of energy and enthusiasm. They are eager to share their experience and their way of doing things. I have seen many organizations end up splintering, and usually the organization is split. The group becomes less effective, and the initial goal of the group gets sidetracked.

We as fellow human beings need to relearn our listening skills and stop being so judgmental. New to an organization or not, give yourself time to learn about it, how it came to be, respect the work of others who have been here before, see how your skill set can enhance the organization, and after a time, start to volunteer your opinions. Relax, unhinge, and remember first and foremost to be kind to one another.

And for those of us who have been here for a while, need we be so set in our ways? Is there more than one way to look at an issue? Listen and consider the new input with an emphasis on kindness and tolerance. Kindness will always outshine the darkness we feel. Practice kindness. Do it everywhere you go, all of the time. This is how change is truly made.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Victoria Schmidt
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