I got a call today from an automatic dialer urging me to vote while bashing the opponent. It really doesn’t matter whose party it is left, right or in between. The assault upon our senses is overwhelming. The anger and dissension amongst people is palpable and frankly I have had enough. I am tired of all the negative ad campaigns, the bickering at supposed debates and I am tired of those trying to pass themselves off as journalists all the while just peppering the television with their own personal agendas. When Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off The View the other day it was a new low in mainstream media and an indication as to what has happened in this country and I personally am disgusted by it. Watching Joy Behar make devil horns with her fingers behind Bill O’Reilly’s head while he was trying to make his point was reminiscent of the bully in grammar school and totally inappropriate for a child no less a 70-year-old woman. It doesn’t matter if you agree with Mr. O’Reilly or not, she was acting like a jerk. We now live in an age when the loud mouth gets the press coverage, the media attention and many times their own shows. Heated debate is healthy and can be productive. When people however, are so entrenched in their own opinions that they can’t even ‘listen’ to an opposing view and therefore need to stamp their feet like 5 year olds and as Barbara Walters put it ‘wash their hands’ of a discussion instead of engaging in dialogue that is just plain ignorance. Learning to voice one’s opinion is something that we encourage people to do. We try to teach our children to speak up and stand up for themselves, but do we do so by teaching them to be mindful and tolerant of others? Do we show respect and tolerance for those who do not share our same views or does our over the top reaction to someone else’s opinion really reflect our own intolerance of others? Do we preach tolerance only when it is convenient or do we truly try to live it each and everyday? We are a society of hypocrites who will rally around when something terrible occurs, but what about all the other times? Today we are asked to wear purple in remembrance for the recent tragic, gay suicides and there has been a large amount of wearing purple to show public support. However, where was everyone’s support and tolerance when those people were being bullied and harassed? Who stamped their feet’ and shouted at those perpetrators? Where was the public outcry then? We need to be more tolerant, compassionate and become better listeners. We need to stop the three-ring circus climate of the media and utilize this invaluable resource to spread good news, show positive stories and show that meaningful debates starts with good listening. Television is broadcast into millions of homes around the world. A source of entertainment and information wouldn’t it be great if television actually did something good and showed us all that civilized and tolerant behavior started right there on the TV?