Approach The Question [on DR Thursday]

a watercolor sketch circa 2002

Looking at the sketch, Kerri said, “I think that’s how a lot of people feel right now.” I asked her what she would name it. After a moment she sighed, “Collective Exhaustion.”

Horatio and I spoke this morning. He began our conversation with this: “The real deficit today,” he said, “is in truth-telling.” He just ran for local office and experienced the truth-telling deficit firsthand.

Horatio is reflecting on these past several months and, in the absence of truth-telling, asked, “What’s the point?” It is a great question and perhaps the single question we-the-people ought to be asking. What, exactly, is the point?

Is the point to win at any cost? To lie, slander, obstruct? To enable? Get-your-own-way? To keep your seat no matter the cost? To make profit?

Or, is to participate with honesty in the hotly collaborative process otherwise known as ‘democracy’?

Managing civilization through the necessary debate of differing points of view is, historically speaking, a relatively new aspiration. One that requires good intention and a commitment to shared values like…truth-telling.

Democracy as we understand it is a nascent experiment. Whether or not the experiment succeeds or fails, to a certain extent, teeters on Horatio’s question. In our recent national dedicated-rejection of truth-telling and embarrassing romper-room-enabling, we have no alternative but to ask, “What is the point?”

That we even need to ask the question is exhausting. That we need to answer it is essential.

read Kerri’s blog post about COLLECTIVE EXHAUSTION

collective exhaustion ©️ 2002 david robinson