#612 – We Couldn’t Agree More…

Posted on | The Agurban

We Couldn’t Agree More…

We receive Alan Weiss’ monthly e-zine, The Balancing Act. While we all have our opinions, some more vocal and outgoing than others, we believe that Mr. Weiss’ December post was spot on, and perhaps we could all take heed of his words. After all, we really are all in this together.

I am NOT making political endorsements or suggestions here, I am making observations. I thought President Obama’s comments about “peaceful transitions of power” were very impressive. I thought both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s remarks after the results were final were impressive.

I’m not impressed by celebrities who threaten to leave the country, because they never do. Their fame and wealth are here, and they’re not about to abandon them. I don’t agree with protestors who clog the streets and cause damage, but freedom of speech is important to uphold and respect. I have to admit I am troubled by 80 million registered voters who apparently chose not to vote, but that, too, is their right.

The human condition is not necessarily one of polarization. While tribes and cultures have been fighting for land and resources and power for millennia, they have also been able to come together for mutual benefit. I’m writing this piece from Kyoto, and I own three German-built cars. We can afford neither to hold grudges in endless enmity among nations nor among ourselves.

The right to disagree, debate, and demur is important, even vital. But the belief that you’re with us or against us, you’re friend or enemy, is absurd. Despite the fact we may agree on a hundred other issues, this one issue creates an impregnable divide? Like the starship Enterprise, the emotional “shields” descend and prevent rational discourse and even logic from penetrating. You’re the “enemy,” so I have no intention of listening.

I have never believed that someone else is “damaged” just because they disagree with my position, nor do I begin firing from the upper stories because someone has approached with an idea I dislike. And I think it’s the height of arrogance to consider someone’s education or degrees. I know a lot of non-graduates who are brilliant, and a lot of degree-holders whom I wouldn’t trust to walk my dogs. I want to respect the person, not the résumé.

Maybe this election will tell us something about ourselves beyond the fact that polls are pretty worthless these days, and people are not so easily influenced by the media.

I was once invited to a dinner by a very rich man, famously affluent, and a dozen of us sat around his table in splendor. I asked him at one point how he acquired 40 acres on the water. “We received a grant after the war,” he told me.

“World War II?” I guessed.

“No, the Revolutionary War.”

When we drove home, my wife told me I looked odd. I told her it was because of a parting comment. Our host had taken me aside and said, “I like you. If you ever need anything, call me, because it’s us against them.”

“What’s bothering you about that?” she asked.

“Well, if we’re ‘us,’ who on earth is ‘them’?”

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