Speaking of Politics

It has been a few hours since the 2022 mid-term elections in the US ended. Many mature friends have been relieved that they can, hopefully, for the near future, take calm and deep breaths of relief from the vitriolic demonizing political ads that swamped the information age in its varied forms.For some reason, topics like politics, strained relationships, morality, church governance, closet skeleton revelations, challenged egos/skills, etc., seem like the ‘last, live, raw nerve’ that catapults generally easy-going people (Christians included) into infernal spitfires that have temporarily lost their gentle demeanors and ethical dynamics.I wonder if my brain consists of two zones (I’ll leave the left/right brain, or gray/white matter of the brain to accomplished brain researchers) – the rational and reptilian spheres. When someone steps on my ‘last, live, raw nerve’, and my rational brain is operative, I take a few deep breaths, take a step back, try to listen and understand what the other side is saying, respect the messenger, and ask myself why that person’s point of view is different from mine. Arnold Kling coins this as ‘slow political thinking.’When my reptilian brain dominates, my breathing shallows, my face is flushed, my blood pressure escalates, and I waste no time in using my tongue and/or social media platform to blast anyone and anything that stepped on my ‘last, live, raw nerve.’ The other side/person is wrong (unlike me), they don’t have the best of the country in mind (unlike me), they are power abusers (unlike me), etc., etc., etc. This is called ‘swift snake thinking.’Is there a healthy way through such conundrums? Here’s one effective biblical guideline: My dear friends, you should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19) Try it; it works.The next time your ‘last, live, raw nerve’ is stepped on, let your rational brain keep the reptilian brain in check; you’d feel better, you would be respected more, and God would be pleased😊

Jeba Moses