I had one of those dreams last night that I was aware of while it was happening and the part of my brain that is aware of my dreams was sure that this was a great story and I was really pleased to have a good bordering on great idea for a short story. Maybe I would even save it and use it for a submission piece next month. It was that good. So when I woke up I pulled out my phone and opened Notes and started typing away. And went...what? None of this makes sense. I stopped and thought about the dream again, trying to grasp what it was that had seemed so brilliant and finally gave up. It's not great. It's not good. It's not even coherent.
It happens. A lot.
There is just a classification of ideas that you get that are only brilliant in the middle of the night. Dream ideas for stories fall into that quite often. There are also things that seem great at 2 AM when you're drunk that don't really work out well the next day when you think about them again. That could have just been me, and probably a good portion of the reason why I don't drink much and I rarely stay up late. It's just better for everyone.
But then I got thinking, what are the other things that we hold on to and try to make sense of that, even if they technically aren't, are really middle of the night ideas that just need to be let go.
This past weekend I posted something on Facebook and one of my ultra conservative friends commented on it. I didn't engage because there was no point in it. We do not see the world the same way. As in alternate universe differences. His response to my post was just a confirmation of it. Such a different way of viewing the world I thought to myself, "Really? You see all of this information and THAT'S what you get from it? Well, now I know who is believing the stuff that I think, 'who is believing this stuff?' about." But the trick is that I know he is just as puzzled by what I believe. He cannot believe that I see all of the same stuff and don't come to the conclusions that he does. We both believe the other is full of middle of the night ideas that make no sense. And though logically I know he has to believe what he says, I also cannot work out the logic he uses to believe such clear nonsense. So I don't engage.
Which leads me to one of the big barriers to life right now. We are all really divided. Everything is tribal. We vilify the other side. If we don't vilify them we consider them to be idiots. I made the decision and keep making the decision to keep writing about what I think even though I know it will not change minds. I know it's all just another layer for people who think the same things as I do to wrap themselves in, but I decided to do it anyway. But I also made the decision to try my hardest not to fight with people about things that will not change.
I did it with guns after Sandy Hook. Though the kids in Florida gave me some hope so I commented about it more this time, but I still won't argue with anyone who is a Second Amendment FOR LIFE! person. I just won't do it anymore. They are going to have to come to some recognition of the well regulated part on their own. I'm tired of running in to that brick wall and having someone else's beliefs papered over what I am actually saying. I was tired of no change happening and each time I made suggestions on ways we could actually regulate the guns we have being told that confiscation wasn't going to happen. Seriously. It's exhausting to have to keep re-reading what you are writing and trying to figure out where you said what they are telling you that you said only to discover that nope, you didn't say that anywhere except in their heads. So I stopped.
Which is really hard. Trust me. When you see someone post something stupid like, "Criminals don't follow laws." or "There is nothing that could have been done." or one of my favorites, "they would have just used a knife!" (I've been stabbed twice in my life and if I had been shot by an AR-15 or any other high-velocity gun in those two spots I would have died so yeah) There are a lot of times I want to send a PM to the person who is arguing and give them better arguments. But I don't. I close it down and walk away. There is no reaching someone who does not want to be reached. For instance you aren't going to convince me that your want of an AR-15 to play with is somehow what the Founding Fathers were talking about when they wrote The Second Amendment in the first place. (I'm not arguing, it's my blog, I'm talking)
But there are so many things right now. Pretty much everything that Trump does or does not do. Local politics. Regional politics. National politics. Things that never used to be considered political but somehow are now. We think this so we are right. You think that so you are evil. We have Stars on Ours....
It's all a bit crazy.
Middle of the night ideas.
So how do we change? Can we change? I'm trying not to fight with people as much. I'm trying not to post on public posts, even from friends, if I think the original content or the comments are too negative or have gone sideways. I'm trying to keep my level of disgust in check. But I'm not staying silent. I'm not going along to get along. I'm going to continue to post my opinions on things. I'm going to keep being a little surprised when someone that I know believes something I can CLEARLY see is nonsense. And then I will keep trying to remind myself that somehow they think the same about what I believe.
But I still don't know that anything changes. Except we keep getting more polarized. We keep finding excuses to stick with only people that agree with us. Because, let's face it, listening to someone espouse an idea that you not only disagree with but find repugnant makes it pretty much impossible to keep a good thought about them in your head. And I think we are all so tired of fighting. But instead of stopping fighting we are just spending time with people who think the way we do. Which is also a bad middle of the night idea. With no differences there is no change. And with no change we stagnate. That's not good for anyone.
So I'm not sure what to do here. I guess we will have to see if we wake up from this bad dream and realize what a bad idea it has all been.