Sometimes I Just Want to Give Up

Is it wrong to say that sometimes I just want to give up?

I feel like giving up on holding an opinion on anything because it is so easy to see people dismiss the opinions of others in a smug arrogant dismissal.

I feel like giving up because even people who agree with each other on large issues still seem to go for the neck when they disagree over details.

I feel like giving up because there are those who say I’m just another person writing and that I probably have nothing to say.

I feel like giving up because there are others who say that everyone has a voice and should be able to use it.

I feel like giving up because it often feels like you can never do anything right. People talk at each other, but rarely seem to talk with each other. People give their own view of how things are and ignore or put down the views of other. It seems like division, disrespect, and line drawing are the standards of how our culture communicates.

All that matters is if someone is on your side or not. Even if people have reasonable hesitation against going all or nothing the line is drawn, you are found wanting, and viewed as an enemy of the cause, whatever that cause may be. We pick through the actions, words, and images of everyone we get the chance to in order to criticize and oust, even those whose actions are not very controversial and their intentions seem to be for the good.

Perhaps the most discouraging thing about all this is that I know I do the same thing at times. It seems to be a human trait. It is easy to try to give people one size fits all labels that we make up in our head, that in reality are often worthless and do a poor job describing most of the people we run across. My aversion to labels and needing hivemind-like agreement tempers this quite a bit, but I still do it. It’s a lot easier to argue with and be condescending to a label we make than a whole person.

So often I want to give up on people. I tire of all the unwavering certainty, the us vs. them mentalities, and I don’t really know what to do about it. It’s frustrating enough when people you don’t agree with do it, but it is even more frustrating when people you tend to agree with do it too. You worry that some aspect of your thoughts on a particular issue doesn’t line up and the exile will begin.

I feel like giving up sometimes, but I don’t think that is really the right thing to do. My opinions may be considered wrong or even worse things by others, but they’re still mine. I don’t even really view my opinions or the things that I write about as unmoving boulders set in place for all eternity either. They are simply a reflection of where I am, just like other people’s opinions are a reflection of where they are. My guess is that over time views will change and/or become more developed over time.

It may be very odd posting something like this the week of Christmas. This sentiment feels  very anti-Christmas. To want to give up on humanity and any idea of striving to make the world a better place at all. At the same time I also wonder if this is not the most fitting time to put forward thoughts like this. The last few months have been fraught with conflict, tension, tragedy, and a multitude of opinions about those things. It just wears you out as you try to sort through it all, especially when you see people criticize other people just for trying to sort it out.

Yet at the same time, those who are Christians are celebrating the coming of Christ into the world. The incarnation of God into a messed up world that always seems to have its share of conflict, tension, and tragedy. I’m also sure critics are not just a product of our age. God didn’t give up on the flawed humanity that we are. If I am to embrace the coming of Christ and seek to follow that, then giving up doesn’t seem like a viable option no matter how tempting it may be.

So I keep hoping that people will become more understanding, even when they disagree, instead of divisive. I will keep striving to be more like that myself as well. I’ll also keep writing my thoughts and opinions, as flawed and in progress as they are and will probably always be. As much as I may want to give up sometimes seeing how messed up the world is, I’m pretty sure people giving up would only make it worse and not better. So we move forward day by day and hope that we will make progress.


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