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A Huge Disappointment

Updated on May 7, 2020
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. As of 2/2020, Jack has over 100,000 views.

Introduction

This is an essay about my disappointment with some of my teammates. After all these years, over 40 years, I have given up. Life is too short and I decided to make a break with them. I doubt they will ever read this since they have refused to read my writings in the past. We disagree on politics and almost all issues. We've debated them over this past month since the start of this quarantine. My disappointment is more to do with how they have chosen to react. It is a problem with group think. They are acting as a group and not think for themselves. I guess I expected more from them.

- May 2020

Background

This past month or so has opened my eyes. I was of the opinion that controversial issues needs to be discussed especially among family and friends. Despite the confrontational environment, which would surely happen, I felt they are worth exploring and clear the air. The conventional wisdom is that one should never discuss religion and politics.

As it turned out, I was wrong. Nothing good can come from open and frank discussions. My experience has proven to me that people are just too set in their ways. No amount of logic or evidence or real stories can change a mind that is formed over a lifetime.

A good example was during the Brett Kavanaugh nomination last year. I wrote a commentary at the conclusion of that event. It is linked below. It explains a lot of what is happening with our current political climate.

The Bottom Line

I won't go into details and it really does not matter. The bottom line is I have terminated my relationship with four of my teammates. These are people I knew most of my adult life. We were on the same Varsity team. We competed in tournaments. We met each other's family and enjoyed BBQ parties. We attended reunion dinners and alumni events.

The interpersonal relations built up over a lifetime seems to mean very little. When it comes to politics, all that goes out the window.

It sort of explain where we are as a country. We are a divided nation. The past few elections has been settled by a thin margin. Every vote do count.

I came to this realization over time. Being an engineer by training, I thought reason and logic and common sense would prevail.

I was wrong. People are ruled mostly by emotions. This "bias" is very hard to overrule. Most people are slaves to them. They cannot separate their feeling from public policy.

I Gave It The Old College Try...

I was naive to think that rational people, when given the opportunity to discuss issues would reach some understanding. Even if we disagree, we can find some common grounds. Well, I was wrong.

For example, I offered to jointly do a project together. We decided on choosing a charity organization and donate our money to help. They came up with a list of liberal charitable causes. I selected one and donated some money.

Did that help? What do you think?

The straw that broke the camel's back. When one of my teammate started to curse me and actually wish me harm, that is when I realized, they have lost all sense of balance.

What I learned From This Experience

There were many lessons learned. In that respect, it is not a total loss. I learned that the human mind is complex. Like the fictional stories on the popular TV show, Star Trek, the difference between Captain Kirk a human, and Spock, a Vulcan, is their brain. Spock is ruled by logic only, devoid of emotions. As such, he is very good for the most part. He can make the correct decisions without being influenced by emotions. Kirk on the other hand has intuition which gives him an upper edge. There were a few incidences where his intuition and emotions saved them in a crisis.

Lesson One - Logic does not always rule the day for humans.

Humans are biased. We cannot be objective about almost anything.

Lesson Two - The media played a role but not to blame for the effects. People are susceptible and the media was all too willing to inject themselves to distort and distract and enhance the fissure that existed.

Lesson Three - No good deeds goes unpunished.

A Message To My Teammates

It is clear to me now. We will never agree. We are just too different. We speak the same language but we don't communicate on the same plane. It is a combination of our history, our experiences and our intellect. I guess that is why we have a two parties system. The two sides are just that different.

We may agree on some of the problems but disagree on the solutions. Moreover, we don't even agree on some of the problems. What is a problem to me seems to be not for you guys and vice-versa.

The Only Way Out

I have been contemplating this for a while. The end is inevitable. Here is my logic. It is almost as if it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. My teammates has an image of what a conservative is. They hold on to that belief despite any evidence to the contrary. They have to. If they don't, their whole belief system comes crashing down.

It is almost like a religion. The progressives I know, are mostly atheists. Yet, they have certain believes which are based strictly on faith. Once the veil is broken, they have no where to go. Like a religious person who discovered there is no God. It is that same feeling.

I noticed during our discourse and debate. When I win the argument, instead of agreeing or apologizing, they tend to double down. They loses their cool and start cursing. That is when I know they have capitulated. A sad state to witness. How, well educated people, with sound mind and body, descend to the lowest level of cruelty.

As a Christian, I don't hold any grudges. I can excuse their behavior. Never the less, it is a huge disappointment. I expected better treatment and respect. So be it. I have accepted it.

Summary

I guess what was most disappointing is the realization no matter what I try, and reach-out, more than half way, the results did not change. I am fine with it. Consider this past month to be dues paid. Life is too short. I have much better things to do with my time and energy. This article is my closure. I have finished this chapter of my life. I will focus my energy on helping our school through the Alumni association and my other volunteer work. When the quarantine ends, I will return to my previous life with a new appreciation of the simple things in life.

This past month was not a total loss. I actually accomplished quite a bit. Here is my daily diary.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Marie, I have learned the lesson. Never bring up politics among family members. No good can come of it. At least, with my teammates, I don't have to deal with them. With family members, we have no choice. By the way, I have plenty of other teammates. Some of them agree with me politically. Four members out of 25 is something I can live with. Don't get me wrong. I will still interact with them on matters relating to our school or our team sports, just no politics and no social gathers.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      3 weeks ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      Thank you for sharing your crossroads in a pivotal moment, Jack.

      You're friends are struggling with their human egos--it's not you. Personally, I appreciate reading or hearing about pros and cons of a subject, not just pros or not just cons (pros, of course, are preferred). It's only when one has a rounded picture of something that some sort of understanding can take place.

      My brother is like your friends. He thinks Trump is an idiot. Granted, our president makes mistakes, but he is our president, and he's doing his best. I don't discuss Trump in any detail with my brother because I don't want to be remotely responsible for a bursted blood vessel.

      I think you have wisely put your experience into words to put this learning experience into perspective. Kudos!

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Carolyn, thanks. I am fine. As I mentioned, I am just disappointed.

      I was hoping people that I know, and know me for all the other things I have done, outside of politics, would at least give me a benefit of doubt. I was verbally attacked by all for members, because I dare to disagree and support Trump. I called them afflicted with TDS and that did not sit well with them. They say it is a made up disease, not a medical or clinical one. Yet their own behavior validates my assertion of TDS. Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      3 weeks ago from South Dakota, USA

      I read your entire hub because I too have friends and associates who differ from me politically and religiously. I have virtually stopped posting anything of a political nature on Facebook. I sometimes post political insights on HubPages, but I'm very selective.

      Here is my thinking: you can't change a person's mind over a "virtual" platform. It requires a person-to-person, face-to-face interface, where every emotion is displayed in words, tone, and body language. Even then, it's extremely difficult, but not impossible. At least for most people. I recognize that there are a few people out there who have their very IDENTITY tied up in their political beliefs.

      The only thing in life that is certain is that things change. People evolve or devolve, but there is no staying the same. I for one have tried to evolve, but I'm not always successful.

      I don't know where I'm going with this rant other than to say that I feel your pain. I just wanted to give you a small crumb of comfort.

      Hang in there. Always forward, never back.

    • Hadiya Mughal profile image

      Hadiya Mughal 

      3 weeks ago

      Great.

    working

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