Con.de.scend.ing: showing that you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people
A small little facebook scuffle has been playing out between me and distant relatives this week. It's really my fault, partly because I was fed up with the lack of real discussion. Instead people were throwing out phrases that are equivalent to the ones tossed around on elementary school playgrounds. There were no facts or logical debate. Yet when I included these things in my side of the argument, I was accused of being condescending. That wasn't my intention. When I include links and facts in my arguments (providing sources for information), I do so because I think it's better for the person on the other side of the argument to read and make their own informed decision. Because that's what I would do.
I see a great divide in this country and it's not necessarily between the have and have nots. When the government shut down in October, I went on a quest to understand exactly what was so horrible with providing affordable health care for everyone. I wanted to understand what exactly made the opposing side so angry. These are people who still believe that the President's birth certificate is fake and that he wants to take away their guns, two things that couldn't be further from the truth, but are believed with a great passion. This mentality leaves someone like me wondering and honestly trying to understand why it is they feel so strongly or why their argument sounds so hateful. What exactly are they so angry about? I read this article on The Dish about a focus group with republican voters and I found the statements from the group to be alarming and scary. I don't understand their sense of entitlement. And I don't say that with a meaning that I think it's wrong or stupid (but I do). I really don't understand it. I don't understand how your religion or your race makes you better or more deserving. I have yet to have someone from that side use any logical argument or debate to help me understand their point of view or why they are so angry.
Which brings me to the topic of poverty. Because I said something about poverty levels and how we, meaning my family and that distant family, comes from a similar poverty level as Obama did growing up. I believe this statement is what caused the most offense, not because of the comparison but because of the implication that they are or at one time where poor. Like there's shame in admitting this or that hard working Americans do not live in poverty. Poverty equals lazy. I am not ashamed to admit that I have lived at poverty levels. In fact, I have only been making what economist would say is a middle class wage for about three years. I am 37 years old and have only had a usable savings account for the last two years. Previous to that it's been barely keeping my head up and living paycheck to paycheck. I have a good education and I've always had a strong work ethic. I think there is a large misunderstanding of the definition of economic classes and I think a large part of that comes from that idea that this person is more deserving than that person. It's the keeping up with the Joneses mentality. The more stuff we accumulate, the higher up in economic class we are, the better we are (looks a lot like that definition of condescending). Except we forget that the thing that makes each one of us special and unique has nothing to do with any of those things.
Luke 6:20-21 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 'Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. 'Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
I just believe that logical conversations on this is more productive than slinging hateful and angry words.