Monday, February 21, 2011

Coexist XXXI - Coexisting in Political Viewpoints

Absolute justice is achieved by the suppression of all contradiction;therefore it destroys freedom.
Albert Camus
writer, philospher, Nobel laureate

My previous post and all the furor that is surrounding the states that are proposing eliminating collective bargaining for public employees has made me think a lot about the divisiveness of differing viewpoints. I am disturbed that I cannot express my point of view on this or many subjects to some people because of volitile reactions. In the past I have believed I could calmly discuss anything, but on this particular issue I am unsure whether I could be reasonable and open-minded. Why? Because it effects me in multiple areas of my life and my future - or what I had planned for my future.

I found some comfort in the Camus quote. If I understand him correctly, his brief statement tells me that justice can never be achieved in everyone's eyes. Everyone has a differing life experiences and reasons for their beliefs and viewpoints based on those experiences. If one group achieves their justice, another group loses theirs.

My own convictions have slowly changed over the past 20 years, not due to someone's influence, but due to the particular circumstances I live in every day and the people I have dealt with. Technically I work in a suburban school, but it is an "inner ring" school, which means it is more urban, with a low socio-economic population. Children growing up in poverty and often neglect, but American children deserving of a good life and education nonetheless. These twenty years have opened my eyes to much more than the middle class upbringing I enjoyed.

Maybe I have not paid enough attention in the past, but it seems to me the divisiveness of our country is growing stronger - and as a result will make us weaker. Another quote:

The more we let each voice sing out with its own true tone, the richer the diversity of the chant in unison.
Angelus Silesius

How can we, as human beings, see things so differently? How can what's fair, good and right seem so wrong and injust to someone else? Why can we not accept that someone else has a different life experience and allow for that - even accept it as the other person's truth? When will we stop and LISTEN to the other side instead of using sarcasm and name-calling? We are all Americans and we have enjoyed a good life as Americans. We each have the freedom to make our lives successful or not.

On this currect issue I feel like what I worked for, what has made my life successful, what supported my children and gave me a certain amount of security will now be taken from me and those who desire to be teachers, (or other public employees) in the future. Does anyone hear that - or do you just hear the loud shouting of a political party?

A house divided against itself will fall.
Luke 11:17

Come now, let us reason together.
Isaiah 1:18


Heart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lena said...

You articulated that so well!

Eric said...

This is my first time reading your blog. I could not agree with your thoughts more. I have said we should be talking to each other rather than at each other.

We won't always agree. We all have different life experiences and values, but we can work together to make life better.

I actually co-host a radio talk show whose premise is that I want to present facts and give everyone a voice to express their viewpoint with the goal of encouraging a conversation, instead of a shouting match.

Keep up the good work

Leann said...

This is my first time visiting as well and give you kudos for a well expressed view point. People don't fit into boxes. Life experience makes each of us different.