Politics & Psychiatry. When To Debate When To Get Therapy by Rick London

        If you have been in a political debate or have seen something political either on facebook (or in real life) of which you disagree, and you think less of that person for posting or saying it, I suggest long-term therapy (and this time I’m not being funny).

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       All of us are much more than our petty political viewpoints….that is just a very tiny part of us. Never ever just become your political point of view, because once you do, you’ve lost yourself in a horrid way. Human beings are of the greatest value. A sign of maturity is differing in POV, yet still thinking highly of the other person as one of God’s children. It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican. It’s the same disease when we close our minds to opposing points of view. We don’t have to like their point of view.  We don’t even have to come close to agreeing.
It is legal to entertain a new idea, without accepting it.

       Think about how you were from birth to age 5 or so. Politics was not even in the picture.  All the possibilities of this great big mysterious world were abound.  If you grew up, and you left all that to become “your political idealism”, think how very, very sad that is. I’m not saying it is not okay to have a political view; it is in fact healthy.  But just keep it in perspective.  Know that when you post it on facebook or twitter, it truly is for your own entertainment.

 

     It is not going to change anyone’s mind; in fact studies show, it usually has the opposite effect (but admittedly it can be fun, as long as one does not become obsessed with it).

      

Like religion and spirituality, it should be “walked and lived” but when it becomes preached or coerced, it tends to lose its value (or people tend to take us a bit less seriously).

         To occasionally watch network news stations with which you disagree shows true maturity and a need/want to open the mind and learn more. To not do so is to stagnate the mind in a most pitiful way. And I don’t say that out of spite or with glee. I learned that from interviews with nearly 50 nursing home residents in 1996-1997  with my question, “What would you have done differently in your life…if anything?” The answers were solid gold and most were happy to answer.

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         Their answers,were of such value I could never repay even if I tried three lifetimes.  Most would not have wasted time in silly petty political or social issue disagreement.  They simply

 

 

would have walked their own walk; leaving others alone to walk there’s; and not only tolerating an opposite walk, but applauding it.  Now that’s wisdom.

Several said they would have not been coerced or try to coerce others into believing or thinking as they did (in other words walk the walk of “living and let live”) and so much more; enough to loosen the cobwebs to launch LTCartoons.com on March 19, 1997. I can never repay the residents of Hattiesburg Nursing Home, most of them 70+ who taught me life, real life, before it was too late.

          Though my reason for visiting the nursing home, at first, was to visit my beloved grandmother Ruth “Dear” London.  Many of the residents were quite lucid and great conversationalists.  I thought I might volunteer and offer some of my time, and be a good listener.

        Just imagine my surprise when they ended up giving me more than I could have ever given them. 

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Rick London is a freelance writer, author, musician/songwriter, cartoonist, designer and founder of Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts Londons Times.  He is married to popular nature photographer Lee Hiller-London who owns the popular nature photography blog Hike Our Planet.  Together they live in and love the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and are active in animal, green, children, and ecology causes.

 

(Poem) I Had To Block You Today By Rick London

I had to block you today,

You said your politics was the only way.

We’d been friends in real life for countless years and days,

From silly games like hide and seek,

And playing war games in the creek.

Even on facebook, we’d kept our rebellious ways.

I thought about it long and hard,

Why today you looked at me in total disregard.

I always thought you to be a kind kindred soul,

But I was wrong….s’pose that’s part of growing old.

The reason for my actions may come across as silly,

It often does for this Arkansas hillbilly.

But it was very real, almost a texture of granite or stone,

My independence from bullies, now that I’m grown.

Pointed out to me by mentors, friends, and therapists I had known,

“Never Rick, never do you have to cower to them again”,

You’re not in the wrong, the bully is,

It’s such an ugly sin.  

He thinks he’s right he’ll fight and fight,

Everything must come to a head for him.

But that’s simply part of his disease,

To him the world’s quite grim.

November is coming and tempers begin to flair,

Politics no longer confined to the Beltway but traveling in the air.

I made a mention of whom I may favor in the ballot box,

But not to you, I was in a conversation with several delegates,

I did not share it for your approval or distaste,

I didn’t see you there.  But if I had and you’d done that, you’d wish I hadn’t cared.

I shared it because I’m an American, and part of the human race.

To tell me that I am wrong to think and vote as I do,

Is frightening to be honest and true.

Peer pressure is how parties controlled/behaved in Communist Russia…and Nazis to the Jews.

They used peer pressure/bullying tactics so you’d see it their way,

Goebbels hired his media pundits to create “the demon-du-jour” each day.  

Your action was a total disregard of my humanity, soul, and voice.

I know for whom you wish elected,

And if that person is selected,

I’d back him with all the force within my being.

On the other hand if my candidate of choice wins the race,

You said you’ll do what it takes to undermine his life until distress.  

So I bid you farewell old friend, based on your major arrogance that shows,

I love so much being American and the difference that it shows.

I salute you for voting for the man of your choice,

But demanding I vote for him too is to treat me as a little boy.

So misinformed, yet I research well. I don’t need a surrogate father,

But if I did, I’ll tell you this, you’d not be the one I’d care to bother.

I’m not a member of a political party, I vote as an independent every time,

I know by now parties are a sham, and it’s choices are a crime at best.

But do not fear, I am sincere, even if I’ve chosen the loser,

Because of the liberties we so enjoy,

I’ll support your winning candidate and lay politics to rest.

I have so many friends voting same as you,

But their humility and compassion doesn’t tell me what to do.

They take it to the voting booth as that’s where our power needs to be,

To spout it to me on facebook, truly makes you quite a freak.

 

I urge everyone to vote. I don’t care for whom you vote. Please take advantage of this beautiful American system. Look around the world and see how many countries are in the middle of chaos, death and confusion simply trying to set up a voting precinct.  Don’t let that happen in America.  Encourage everyone to vote and if they have problems or don’t understand how, help them learn how. If you have an elderly or disabled neighbor, help them get there or show them how to write in.  Don’t let ANYone intimidate you into thinking you cannot vote. You can and should.  To not vote brings us that much closer to countries like Iran, Syria, etc. Thank you.

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and designer.  He founded LTCartoons in 1997. Londons Times Cartons (LTCartoons.com) has been Google & Bing’s #1 Offbeat Cartoons & funny gifts since 2005.  He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London who has the popular blog Hike Our Planet.