A few months ago we posted our song, Proof of Life. We are working so hard on organizing the rest of our music for our upcoming album, that we kind of let this song pass with a little push here and post there. But truly not enough discussion and nothing of consequence.
I had to come back to it. In the last weeks I'm sure most Americans have heard a litany of opinions on everything from Beyonce's Super Bowl half time performance to the insanity of debating with Donald Trump. The most recent in a flurry of arguing and vile rhetoric, the apparent joy of many liberals over the death of one of our Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia. Such discussion makes me wonder about the "Compassionate Liberal" and the "Pro-Life Republican". Neither side exhibiting in reality what they so carefully phrase in their speeches and talking points.
While this sort of two-faced behavior has pervaded most politics in one form or another, the recent years have made all but the most even-tempered American citizen a sudden and emotional critic. Everyone is involved in the fray. Everyone is ready for the fight.
Are these screeching dialogues proof of life? These social media rants and twitter flurries that leave both parties lacking trust in the moral and intellectual competence of the other? If two opposing sides leave with only insults instead of results, name calling instead of solutions, problem finding instead of problem solving, then no, this is not proof of life. This is death and destruction. Have we destroyed our ability to debate and then debrief with a beer and a laugh at a local pub?
Recent discussions in Dearling have left me to believe that we Americans are actually made for wild and challenging debates of ideas, while keeping our friendship and respect in tact. No, on average, I don't believe we want to live in hatred of our fellow man based on his ideas about the world. While many are incapable of allowing an opposing viewpoint without calling it a nasty name and dismissing it as either, "evil" or "stupid", I have seen great moments of understanding and respect for people with oppositional views. It can be done.
This great challenge we each face, of realizing our own beliefs on a deeper level and learning other's beliefs in order to sharpen and refine our own, is still present. It is still needed. But we must take it up. In this, we can create something better and bigger together. Life can come from such discussions, and character tests. This song, Proof of Life, is about a relationship where you look into it and see proof of life. Building up, not tearing down, refining and restoring, not abandoning. Fearless caretaking with no ego or agenda. Truth and sacrifice and love and learning. This is not just for the relationship with family, but it is for the relationship with the rest of your neighbors and country and world.
The time has come where we as a community have to actually face the underbelly. We have to look in and see what is there. That "something" is an ever changing environment and if we looked now, I fear we would see destruction and choas. As we move forward in 2016, I'm going to believe that we can make that environment a life giving one. That at the end of this year we can look in and find proof of life.