I have never agreed with my other self wholly. The truth of the matter seems to lie between us. -Khalil Gibran

I've been trying for a while to express the near-universal frustration I feel when I encounter or engage in discussions of a political or social nature. This has been especially true lately, now that we're eyeball-deep into the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign. My aggravation seems omnipresent and on the rise these days--it's not pretty.

Living with a self-described political junkie doesn't help, but neither does the constant stream of opinions, spin, assumptions and propaganda supplied by the 24-7 news/information cycle and the Internet (upon which we seem to be increasingly, inextricably dependent).

Cut to this morning, when an insignificant ZipMeme-ish graphic posted on facebook (see previous comment on digital dependency) finally crystallized my thoughts and enabled me to leave some of my vexation here on the page, rather than allowing it to further weigh on my heart. So here goes...

I find the gross oversimplification of complex social/political/economic issues to be one of the most frustrating aspects of interacting with other people.

It is inexplicably unfair and small-minded to characterize entire segments of the population as "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong." Very few issues are black and white--shades of gray almost always exist and are rarely buried deep. The intentional unwillingness to recognize "the gray" involved in the forming of people's beliefs/philosophies/ways of life is at once infuriating and baffling to me. And in some cases, I have questioned and altered my relationship with individuals whose scope is disturbingly myopic.

Rich/Poor, Female/Male, Gay/Straight, Carnivore/Vegan, Liberal/Conservative, Christian/Non-Christian, Pragmatist/Utopianist, Mac/PC--whoever and whatever we are, we're all guilty of prejudices and predilections for or against someone or something. We assert that we are open-minded, but never seem to recognize that our tolerance ends when we encounter opinions that differ from our own. I actively include myself in that royal "we"--no one wants to be around when I get preachy about child advocacy,
recycling, proper grammar and punctuation, or making Hollandaise sauce from scratch.

I'm not a Pollyanna, I know that conflict has always and will always exist, and that it can be an important catalyst for human improvement. But by looking for the gray in those with whom we disagree, rather than painting each other with broad strokes of black and white--of good and bad--life would be a lot less challenging and certainly less vitriolic.  

A little less hostility in the world seems like a good thing to me.

Handwriting is civilization's casual encephalogram. ~Lance Morrow

Kids should be taught how to print, because it’s all they’ll ever need if they find themselves without a cell phone to text on, or a keyboard to type with.

I'm pretty sure I had a stroke after reading that quote. Any statement that includes the phrase "...because it's all they'll ever need..." makes me immediately suspicious and fairly certain that the speaker/writer is, at best, shortsighted (though "idiot" seems a more appropriate description).

It saddens me to think that we're being stripped down to our most basic (and base) skills by the advancement of technology. Those abilities that make us uniquely and preciously human are being deemed irrelevant because they don't have an immediate application in the world of the keyboard? It seems we're reverting as a species in the name of progress.

No worries, I'm not preparing to move to the Montana wilderness so I can devote all my time to mailing bombs to ITT Tech students. I just wanted to share my lament. End rant here. :)

The Responsibility Project > Should Cursive Be Saved? 
Creative Commons License
trickypeanut.blogspot.com by Erin H. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Site Meter