In the interest of occasionally dealing directly with things that relate to the title of this blog, here's an example for you. Yesterday I stepped into a firestorm on facebook when I posted a reply to a political article (namely, one about Obama's extending partial federal benefits to the same-sex partners of governmental workers....the article link was posted along with this remark: "the worst president ever.") I should have known the slippery slope I was embarking upon, but before thinking too deeply about it (because the point that I was about to make is one that the fact that it is routinely ignored is absolutely amazing to me), that one of the things that makes our country a free one, and has made it, since its beginning, a great one (a.k.a. the separation of church and state) is completely ignored on this issue, and that no one seems to care. Am I really the only one who thinks it doesn't make any sense to use religous viewpoints as basis for laws? I can't help but feel incredibly unsettled once religious beliefs start becoming law in this country which is supposed to embrace everyone, no matter what their race, creed, background, or religion is.
In fact, I could've sworn that the reason this country was founded in the first place was to escape religous tyranny.....
But anyway, back to the tightrope. Of course what I said provoked a buncha comments, at first agreeing with me, then strongly, strongly disagreeing and starting to quickly go bad. I actually walked away from my computer before the downslide happened, but by the time I saw the stream again a few hours later, people were insulting each other and calling each other names, and it was general craziness.
The balance that I try to keep (which is one of the reasons that I don't comment much on these type of subjects) is one that on one hand, lets me stay true to my innermost values (which involve always speaking with respect and compassion for everyone, no matter who I'm talking to and what their beliefs are), while still standing up for what I believe in (which, honestly, generally is basically the same thing). A conversation that is coming with as much fiery impetus as that one was has a high likelihood of quickly dissolving into "you're stupid." "You're stupider." "Your mom," and so on. In fact, that's exactly what happened (with different words, but with the same spirit). I really can't get behind that. And, for that matter, it's a little difficult for me to understand why anyone would if they're conscious of what they're doing. Perhaps that's it - once a nerve gets touched, people forget what they're saying (and typing), and unfortunately, not only is it appropriate in the media nowadays to sling hate (in various disguises - both light and heavy ones), but that's what often gets hits and comments and calls-in and the like.
I'll settle for a small readership, thanks. I'd rather not sell out to what I see as one of the biggest problems in our world right now - the lack of empathy that everyone doesn't think the way that you do, and, even more of a novel concept, that this is okay.
And that's what I think.
On another note, I had my lovely sister be a model for me yesterday on my ongoing journey to master my camera's settings. Here's a peek at what we got:
And on a third note, I'm making the 4-hour drive Saturday morning to go see this guy:Daddy Brown (and Rikki, the parrot. That guy had better be snug in his cage when I arrive, I've never met him but hear he's posessive and I would prefer to still have all my fingers by Monday...)
Today's whiteboard quote:
"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."