Through the centuries humans have pondered and deliberated over many problems and issues facing their societies. Answers are seldom clear cut, and even when it’s obvious what needs to be done there will always be a negative consequence(s) whether foreseen or not. That’s just how the world works, and it’s only gotten more so in the modern era. In cavemen days when humans discovered that they could cause and harness fire, it inevitably brought about much good and is probably the primary discovery that got us to where we are at today. But the ability to create fire had its’ drawbacks one may have argued then. If used inappropriately, it can be used to cause more death and serious injuries compared with sticks, clubs and rocks[i]. But the benefits to cook foods, create warmth and create light in darkness, far outweighed the risk of its’ inappropriate use by some.
Much of what I write has two opposing views, almost every issue, thought or deed does have an opposite. Even good can come from something horrible. This in no way justifies the horrible act, but it’s just a fact that everything, to some degree or another, has an opposite; point of view, effect, or outcome. An honest person who wants a well-rounded answer to an issue has to intimately understand both extremes of an issue as well as everything in between. In today’s world of sound bites, in my opinion, people make up their minds about issues too quickly and become rigid in their viewpoints. Usually they make up their minds according to their political leanings sloughing off the opposing argument as if it had no merit at all, or the merit it does have can be dealt with throwing a “placative” bone at it. Of course this has the affect of pissing off the other side as if their view is just “wrong”, and of course, one side is the “enlighten” side. Thus our Congress today.
Then, of course, you have the money interests at stake – those who truly don’t give a rip about the “greater good” they just care about protecting their own interests no matter who it hurts or denies – it’s their bottom line that counts. Lobbyists for the nursing home industry as well as the NRA (not that I have a side on gun control) are good examples of organizations caring about money rather than who they may be hurting. It’s not so much which side of the coin these organizations are on that I take issue with, it’s the motivation behind their stance. One can’t reason with someone only interested in protecting their pockets – and not even personal pockets, which I could understand at least, but they are protecting big organizational pockets!
What I will attempt to do with my blog is discuss both sides of an issue and explain why I come out on whatever side I come out on. There’s no secret that I am extremely opinionated – just ask my husband! But most things it took awhile to formulate my opinion. I read a lot from views that oppose one another, and then run it through a succession of my filters; Christian, disability, female, oppressed, economic and marriage/single (when I was of that status) to get a feel for how the issue affects each. Some issues oppose one another in my own filters causing deeper scrutiny of the issue at hand.
The truth is both sides of most issues have equal merit, but each side is so busy arguing or proving how correct their side is, that they fail to listen carefully and truly understand the other side’s concerns or point of view. The best way to get what you want is to understand the opposite point of view/argument as well, if not better, than your own. The answer to social issues, budgets or outcomes is not this OR that! It’s some of both, and then some.
[i] This is not intended to directly relate to the current debate about guns, although I can see how one could draw similarities.