I’m a middle child and normally that means I play the role of peacekeeper in the family. Conflict is particularly hard for middle kids. Offering an olive branch is usually the go to move for middle children. I’m not sure when this philosophy changed for me, but it has. I used to be the type of person who tried to seek to understand, rather than be understood. To kill people with kindness. To reach out to those with completely different perspectives and ideas and try to walk in their shoes. Likewise, the rule of addressing the behavior of a person that might be abhorrent versus attacking the person.
A switch has gone off that may never return, and I am no longer the quintessential middle child. Why? Because at this point, enough is enough. I don’t even want to try to understand those who adopt conspiracy theories to justify violence. I’m starting to ask questions like, did the Jewish people and those who were sent to the gas chambers try to reunite Germany with an olive branch? The answer is HELL NO. This call for unity and reaching out to the other side is frankly ridiculous. Perhaps I will change my mind if the radical right reaches out, apologizes, and offers that olive branch. If those same mobsters wish to try to mend the country and are sincere in their desires, I’ll listen. Until that time, this call for a measured response is bullshit. It is not the responsibility of the victims to meet the other side in the middle.
I readily admit I was very upset four years ago when Trump won, and I was among the protesters chanting, “Not my president.” But, and this is a big but, I never considered violence or anything other than chanting my displeasure. Trump supporters have a right to be upset. Their guy lost. They do not have a right to bully their way into a different outcome. Nor do they have a right to attack our capitol, or engineer a different outcome by taking out political opponents or critics of a twice impeached president.
I’d like to leave this world returning to my former stance on conflict and become that middle child again where I try to understand the other side. Time will tell if I’ll ever get there. In the meantime, I can’t help interjecting my views on social issues, injustices, discrimination, violation of human rights, and yes, politics, usually on a small scale, but sometimes the lure is too great to write a book inspired by what’s currently happening in this country. Thus, my current WIP, The Others, will definitely have more of a political bent as a dystopian novel than many of my other books. In the meantime, I have managed to write many books mostly free of politics and filled with romance. You know the drill, click the links below to check them out, including my most recent novel that is getting great reviews.
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3 thoughts on “Middle Child”
Annette. I love this post. I point out that peace is not the absence of war but an agreement to work through difficult diversity. In this current climate that is not possible. A call for unity by the abusive party without the ability for discussion is simply more abuse. Most of the folks who breached the CAPITOL see things only one way they are right,we are all wrong. Trump and his political followers have a different agenda. Unity is not a part of that because that would mean fairness and to appreciate the diversity that is America. They are white, priviliaged folks who expect status quo to stay in their favor. Their Christianity is without Jesus and God’s box is all about them. I think I am preaching to the choir here but your books challenge people to see life differently. Give a different vision and a simple way to talk about tough subjects without judgement. If that has happened because of a shift out of the middle, BRAVO, don’t go back. I grew up trying to please everyone and simply lost myself in the process. Write on and bring folks a new way to see, maybe unity can be born out of new vision. Yes my rose colored glasses are firmly fixed on my face, hoping the Republican right does not send us into civil war. Only time will tell. Thanks for you Pam
Thanks for the comment! Yes, preaching to the choir!
I don’t know if you watch Stephen Colbert, but he had James Comey, the former FBI director, on his show the other night by way of a Zoom interview. Comey is not a fan of Trump’s. He had a very accurate response when asked what he thought about the republicans’ call for unity after the Capitol riots. He said those lawmakers are standing in the lobby of a building that they set on fire and are telling everyone running for their lives to reach out and love one another. 😆 That was perfect!
Republicans are suddenly having an uncharacteristic change of heart about the crooked genie they helped release from the lamp. I don’t want to hear any of their hollow words at this point. They need to lie in the bed they made, and I hope it costs them dearly.