Sunday, February 3, 2013

Two Sides

Early Rain, Reflecting : Photo copyright: Janet M Kincaid, 12/12

There are always two sides to every story or issue. It's part of the nature of being human and interacting with humans.

I may not agree with or fall on the side of an issue in the way some people would like, but the beauty of democracy is, we can each have an opinion about something and they can be opposing opinions. What I always hope for in a debate is healthy respect. I may not agree with your stance, but I respect your right to that stance and I'm willing to hear you out. Doesn't mean I'll change my stance, but it also doesn't mean I'm closed off to the possibility of changing my opinion.

That said, the Washington Post was full of all kinds of good, opposing-viewpoint reading today. (Opposing viewpoint meaning, may or may not reflect my opinion. For those that don't, though, I still find value in them, because I believe it's important to understand the opposing views of others. It's the only way we'll arrive at meaningful opinions and dialogue, in my humble opinion, of course!)

In Rhode Island, not far from the devastating mass murder of 20 children and six teachers in December, lives a man who blogs and owns guns. This is his story. He used to be a car fanatic. Now, he's all about guns. P.S. When did America become a country that is afraid of its neighbors and the apocalypse? We claim the corner market on Christianity and tout ourselves as Christians, but are we really going to be so Christian as to shoot the man who tries to steal our bread a la Cormac McCarthy's The Road? The mere thought depresses and saddens me.

Meanwhile, in Russia, people are trying to do good and help each other out, but the government of Vladimir Putin is wary and wants to ban volunteerism. Those who grew up in the grip of Communism are affronted, because they still believe the government should provide everything. A younger generation is realizing the power of social media and lending a helping hand. Must one prevail over the other or can both work for the common good of humanity? Certainly we see the benefits of both in places like the U.S. Surely Russia can make it work, too, nyet?

The issue of gay rights continues to create waves in the U.S. In the current immigration debate, there's some question whether gay foreign nationals married to U.S. citizens should, like their married heterosexual counterparts, be allowed to apply for visas in order to stay in the U.S. Of course, the Left says "Yes" and the Right says "No". The Obama Administration is caught, it seems, between two constituencies that put it in the White House: Hispanic voters, for whom immigration is a serious matter; and gay voters, for whom equality is a serious matter. Will the President have to throw one group under the bus in favor of political expediency and a win?

In a similar vein, the Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting their ban on gays and lesbians in their vaunted ranks. Some troop chapters of the BSA have taken a stand and are already inclusive, but others refuse to budge until an edict is issued from HQ.

Switching gears, it seems nowadays what was once called cheating is now called collaboration. Or, have we all at times been collaborating and were told we were cheating? Should these Harvard students have been suspended or should they be rewarded?

Finally, get out the Kleenex. This next story is a five- or six-tissue read. I'll let it speak for itself: Spend one, last, perfect day with your dying dog.

That's all I've got for today.

Oh, wait. No, there's this: GO NINERS! And happy birthday, Mom!

No comments: