Monday, March 20, 2006
Now why is that? Is it simply the inherent volatility of people arguing based on what they see as necessary to improve/maintain their quality of life? Or is it more than that?
How easy is it to step back from a conversation and see it from another perspective? When embroiled in a heated debate with someone of another mind, stopping to gain another perspective is a tough thing to do. I'm better at it now than I've ever been, but it's a very tough thing to do. It entails not only understanding of someone else's situation, a situation different than one's own, but it's also a challenge to one's values and principles. The possibility that already held beliefs are wrong is a scary thing and can be hard to face. Hard to admit, even to oneself. To me the result is that understanding is not reached (nor often tried) which leads to an inability to compromise-a necessity in life, because unlike the world Dubya lives in, it ain't all black and white. Rarely is, actually. Which leads to impasse, stagnation and bitterness.
Add to all this one of the larger issues I see with this country-selfishness (an odd thing, for a country 'steeped' in Christian values). Why see a situation from another's point of view if the result may be a perceived step backward in one's quality of life? Why worry about destitute people in China or Africa (or in the US), as long as the 401K keeps increasing and the Excursion stays filled with gas? This mindset (as I have said countless time) leads to a blindness in regards to the interdependancy of us all (not to mention compassion, caring, concern for the welfare of more than your immediate family). Disgusting.
Why worry about the sweatshops that produce the clothes and products that fill the shelves, as long as they are cheap. Baby's gotta have designer clothes (that will be outgrown in days or months?); gotta get that needlessly huge house/car/diamond to prove to others that success has been attained and is increasing. Why worry about the shite pouring out of a gas-guzzling SUV when the blame can be shifted to the poor landless farmer in the rainforest who is burning the trees to be able to eat and survive? It's not my fault, right? It's Bush's fault. Or Congress. Or the UN or Russia or Iran or.....
But that critical eye is rarely turned inward. Perhaps it's easier to 'discuss' politics and all the ills being wrought by that "other party" or by the politicians, than it is to look critically at one's own actions and contributions to the problems. Don't like Bush and his oil buddies or the war in Iraq or the lack of environmentally minded administration? Do your part-don't drive an SUV. Carpool, take the bus. Don't be wasteful. Quit making excuses...
Will a new president or Congress improve the situation and fix all our ills? Or will a change in individual's attitudes result in an adequate (perhaps even good) set of elected officials which will in turn improve things?
You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Or teach him to fish and help him eat for a lifetime. Which is preferable?
See ya this weekend!