Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The BOO and YEAY Of It . . .

     In my family, of four grown children, two boys, two girls, I am considered the W.O.W. That means Wacky Old Woman or Wise Old Woman, depending on who’s saying it. If you get my drift. (I took an online survey once and, according to how I answered the questions, I was identified as a "centrist." Sounds reasonable to me since I think I am conservative, liberal, or libertarian, depending on the issue).

     Following is an email exchange which illustrates my point perfectly. It certainly was a "BOO" and "YEAY" day for me.

The BOO . . .

Darling First-Born Son --

     Re this excerpt from your thoughtful (as in well thought out) email --

. . . many of your statements sound good but epitomize short-term thinking. I think you're intelligent, but you haven't trained yourself to consider the bigger picture as well in many cases.

     What could be more fair-minded, or reasonable, than to say -- get rid of all PACs -- limit ALL campaigning to six months prior to the election -- and give ALL candidates the same FREE TV time. ????? Why is that short-term thinking? What is the big picture I'm missing?

     I am so sorry you perceive this in my thought process. It is exactly THE OPPOSITE of what I try to do. Of course I am limited by my intelligence and knowledge of the issue. Level of intelligence I can do nothing about. Knowledge of the issue -- I can and do. Frequently I change my opinion about something when I learn more about it. I do NOT, however, stay glued to the Media and/or radio talk shows. In fact, I avoid them.

     I have purposely -- in my old age -- cast off many things I consider tedious or not interesting (to me) or not uplifting. I have more than enough to occupy my time playing in my yard or writing or Genie searching or being with family/friends. 

     If I am interested enough to have an opinion about something, the way I got there was by sitting and thinking (sometimes over a period of months or years which is why my opinion frequently changes) through the issue -- to the best of my ability. (You can stop laughing now . . . ) 

     Frequently, what seems like a good idea -- when pursued to its logical conclusion -- ends up being not so good after all. 

     Frequently, what seems like a good idea, even after I have pursued it to its logical conclusion -- ends up NOT being the case when I discover new information. (I.e., new information changes the premise that you take forward to its logical conclusion which, in turn, may no longer be the desired result.)

This is how I figure out every problem or situation or philosophical issue I confront.
It makes me sad to think you see no evidence of this in me.
* * * * *
     One current example is the furor over Picture IDs. On first reflection, my thinking was that it is a good thing and it should be required. I still think it's a good thing and everyone should have a picture ID BUT, I have learned some things I didn't know and now think it probably shouldn't be a requirement, for now, for voting in this election. Picture IDs is NOT rocket science. We need to put in place a system for every citizen to get one; why we don't already have it, I don't know. But we don't. I did not realize how many legitimate potential citizens/voters would not be allowed to vote if they pass this requirement. (*)
* * * * *
     Interesting and serendipitous to this email conversation is the fact that I got a call yesterday from my uncle, a musician, who lives in another state. He called to ask if he could give my phone number to his son. I can't imagine any reason other than my genealogy work (which is in a private tree on (with no info re living persons, BTW). My uncle thought that might be the reason also. His wife used to be on my email list for exchanging questions/data but dropped off some time ago.

     Then we talked for a few more minutes. His wife puts some great stuff on her Facebook page and since we are "friends" I get to see it. She is a nurse, very animal orientated, AND frequently puts political jokes or info on her page. The weird part is the political stuff is all left leaning and supportive of President Obama.

     Since I know this uncle is ULTRA conservative, I jokingly asked him about this -- I thought maybe I misunderstood something. He admitted she is "unfortunately liberal" (his words).

     We talked a little longer and I mentioned that all my kids considered me the wacky old liberal of the family.

     His REPLY is why I'm telling you this.

        He said, "Oh, Sarah, I don't see you as being very liberal politically; I do think you are liberal in the sense of being open minded about things.

     I nearly fell off my chair! But thanked him and shortly after that we hung up.

     I'm sure he has NO IDEA HE MADE MY DAY!!! 

     We have only seen each other a few times in my whole life and have had only a few conversations -- and yet he perceives this about me.

     He sees me as I see myself. WOW!

"being open minded about things" -- from my perspective -- encompasses a whole lot of things I try to be. And to think he "gets it".

     Just a casual remark from him, I think, but it made my day.

     And that’s the "YEAY!" of it.

     If only . . .

Blessings All --

(*) Since first writing this, I have learned more. If this is true (i.e., that "on the spot" picture IDs will be offered to anyone who needs one at the time of voting) then I am not opposed. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Sarah!
    It incorporates a lot of thoughts I've been having during this political season. I'd offer a third option on your musings. In today's polarized and judgmental society it seems like one can be LIBERAL, CONSERVATIVE or open-minded! I used to think that I had Liberal friends who would engage in conversation and listen and also Conservative friends the same, but in recent months I've learned that it seems like the polarizing factions of both parties are winning. It is MY WAY or THE HIGHWAY with no one listening to the others talk.
    I agree totally that I listen a lot and do change my mind when I perceive that the facts are different, but I refuse to be TOLD how to think.
    I have always thought of myself as a "moderate" because of my desire to learn, but now many conversations seem more about degrading the other person and winning the argument as opposed to a sharing of ideas. Keep on are the voice of reason, Sarah!
    Agatha Nolen