"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best." Epictetus
In this quote Epictetus reminds us we become who we hang around and who we hear. In our modern electronic world for many of us this would include our social media sites and news sources. The situation we are coming out of with the mandatory stay at home orders made this even worse. Where even if you had real, living friends or even coworkers you could not be with them leaving you more time to turn to social media trolls and sensational 24 hr news programs.
If your social media friends, news sources and trolls constantly push a narrative of hate towards the president... soon you too will feel a deep hatred of him. You likely have never met the president... you likely would have no idea if he or his policies had done anything good... you likely would have had no personal reason to hate the president... you likely would have went about your day without even thinking of the president. But the company you keep wants to stir hatred in your heart and you not only agree but participate. Doesn't matter if his name is Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Obama or Trump. This cycle is always there... it can only be broken when we as individuals look to "who we keep company with" everyday.
Of course we should give no one a free pass, particularly our leaders. But we should insist on fairness and justice in our personal judgements of everyone, including our leaders. For when we do not exact fairness in our judgement of others we certainly will unknowingly exact unfair standards to our own self judgement... its karma. Grace begets Grace. Forgiveness begets forgiveness. While cruel judgements bring the same to ourselves. The golden rule extends to everyone in our circle.
Similarly if your social media friends, news sources and trolls constantly push a narrative of disease, death and contagions you too will begin to be wary of rampant disease. You likely will not know anyone personally affected by the disease.... You likely would not see sick people stumbling out of your local Target... You likely would not see hospitals in your town or even region of the country overrun with sick and dying... You likely would not even have as much as a sniffle yourself.... But the company you keep wants to create fear and attention to sensationalism in your heart and you readily agree to run right to that place. Suddenly everyone you see at the local grocery is not a fellow human but a "potential disease carrier".... You have been told to be particularly wary of young people as they are asymptomatic carriers out spreading the deadly plague... So you look at the 19 year old with a particularly wary eye... You tell the kid bagging your groceries "No I do not need any help outside!". You will mostly lock yourself in your home...even there being careful to clean packages which may arrive from the potential disease carrier UPS driver (who is actually continuing to work somehow)... Keep this company of fear and sensationalism long enough and you will even begin to believe your own home needs an additional scrub down because the virus can live on cardboard (your aforementioned Amazon package) for days! The company you keep made sure to spread the news of fear and total economic shutdown to all! In 1980 prior to the 24 hr news cycle this would have come and gone and perhaps someone would have mentioned... "heck of a flu season this year huh?". For an actual frontline view of the "pandemic" from a Florida nurse (Erin Marie Olszewski) who worked in NYC at the "epicenter" I encourage you to watch her youtube video "Perspectives on the Pandemic (undercover) Epicenter Nurse" although it will likely be censored off youtube by the time you read this.
Similarly if your social media friends, news sources and trolls constantly push a narrative of hate towards races of people you will begin to feel those hateful feelings too. You likely would rarely have other races organize against you... you likely have never taken part in racial attacks... you likely have never even seen a racial attack.. you likely have been successful in your life and career regardless of your skin melanin level or family background.... But the company you keep wants you to feel a deep hatred and VOTE a certain way... so you will start to feel marginalized.... you will feel like everyone is out to get you... you will feel beaten down without any chance of getting a fair shot in life.... you will agree to be the servant.... you will agree to be subservient to other races... you will unwittingly bring down the value of your own race and uplift the value of another race....you may even begin to pillage and burn down your own community but certainly not the Buffalo Grove side of town or the Haile Plantation side of town... you may even demand the services of government be pulled from your part of town.... but since you have been controlled by the company you keep you will not make actual real demands of economic change which could help all people who are not in the millionaire class... no that type of revolt is the actual real fear so lets encourage you to fight each other in division.
I love to see and hear when the targets of fear, sensationalism do not jump on the bandwagon and even fight back! Just like nurse Erin.... plenty of good folks on the race issue have stepped up to condemn this bad company. Killer Mike warned CNN- "Karma is a bitch CNN!" And Mr. Earl Gibson 3rd of San Antonio TX is standing up for his race and communities there. Leaders in the black community are tired of being called the beaten down class instead of having their success heralded. They are weary of being made the doormat of society by the media and liberal hipster whites. They will not accept the narrative anymore.
How are you doing with the company you keep? I pledge to work on it everyday. Good bye facebook... goodbye twitter... goodbye negative family members, friends and coworkers... goodbye cnn, foxnews, msnbc etc.... goodbye virtue signallers.....goodbye weak sheeple... HELLO LEADERS, COURAGEOUS PEOPLE, WARRIORS, OVERCOMERS, HELPERS, ENCOURAGERS, LOVERS, REAL JUSTICE SEEKERS...
I PLEDGE TO BE COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMPANY I KEEP INCLUDING MEDIA SOURCES I TAKE IN! I SEEK MY TRIBE OF REFLECTION, UPLIFTING, GRACE, FORGIVENESS, TEMPERANCE, ENCOURAGEMENT AND LIFE LONG LEARNING.
Illustration below thanks to Mr. Earl Gibson the 3rd via Linkedin.