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There are some things going on in this world that bother me ... that offend me ... that don't make sense, and never will. I dedicate this site to those who seek truth even where it is difficult to find, and who are willing to agree and disagree in principle, while steadfastly refusing to let irrelevant detail overshadow core truth.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Viva la Difference!

News bulletin: we are different from one another, individuals from our basic chemistry and DNA, to our appearance and behavior.  "Well, duh!" you might be thinking.  Duh indeed!

Yet there is a trait among us that seems to be growing of late, more among certain groups. In some, it is subtle, perhaps a preference to be among others who share common interests; a natural gravitation toward persons of like minds or discomfort among those somehow different.  And at the extreme - all one has to do is take a look at our politicians and their partisan behavior - an all or none, in or out, black or white, truly binary world.  It has gotten so pronounced as to demonize anyone who is not 100% of like persuasion, at least politically speaking.  And it has rendered our legislative body as effective as the terracotta army in Xian, China.


I have a very dear friend of many years, and I love him as a brother.  We don't agree on everything and some of our most glaring differences are political.  I've always felt that we could agree to disagree and still remain close, and believed that he felt the same.  Yet one day, not so long ago, he laid the gauntlet at my feet - unless I was willing to declare that I agreed with him on a particular topic, voted as he did against a particular candidate, that I was no longer welcome in his home.  My response?  I don't care who he votes for, he is always welcome in my home.  OK, we'll work through that as friends, but it is exemplary of a growing problem and a clouding of vision among us.

Because we are different, pick any issue and on average we'd all be roughly half-half on the subject.  That is as it should be if we truly follow our own individual hearts.  Does that mean that half are right and half are wrong?  Not really, because we are fortunate enough to live in a country that was founded (and is supposed to be governed) on the principles of freedom - freedom to choose, freedom to believe as we do, freedom to be different, and freedom to speak of our beliefs without fear of reprisal.  That is the essence and the burden we carry as Americans.  Let us celebrate these differences, rejoice that our brothers and sisters are free to believe as they choose  - and defend that right to the end.  To behave any differently, to insist that people believe as we do or else, undermines the very fabric of our country, the very fabric that they insist they're trying to preserve even as a strict conservative or absolute liberal.

Let us celebrate our differences.  But in order to do that, we must accept compromise, for that is the only way it is going work, the only way to serve the greater good and the only way to achieve for our country that which our founding fathers had in mind - "... of the people, by the people and for the people."

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