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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Are You Looking at Me?

Sparrow

People are funny, aren't they?  I was reading a blog yesterday, a blog I enjoy for its creativity and insight and photographs.  I'm not going to link to it, because which blog it was is irrelevant, and I don't want to add fuel to the controversy that is playing out over there.  You see - the writer of this particular blog had an idea, blogged about it, and invited others of like mind to join in with her if they wanted.  She used a particular term relating to a philosophy of educating children (unschooling), and it started a little battle of words between a few people, offended at her use of "their" word.

Because, you see, she's not one of "them."   That she would dare use "their" word, out of the context of "their" usage was quite offensive to them.  Honestly - they were downright snide, snippy and quite belittling to this woman, who responded with grace and humility. 

Ridiculous.

And completely expected.

What is it that drives human beings to divide themselves into little packs and then snarl and bite at those who want to peek in and see what our pack is like?  What is this need to categorize every human and situation into neat piles, and then pitch a giant hissy fit when one of the piles gets shuffled?

I am a this.  You are a that. 

I am a right.  You are a wrong.  Unless you agree with everything I say, then you can be a right, too. 

Just don't buck the system.  Even when the system is set up specifically to buck the system. 

Ugh.  It's so discouraging to see smart, well-educated, well-meaning people so totally miss the boat on so many things.

So.  I have a plan.

I'm going to start a new group.  We'll call it the D.I.A.H.N. (Devastatingly Intelligent and Honestly Nice) Group.  Here are the principles.

  1. Everyone has an opinion.  It may not be the same as yours.  Respect theirs and listen.  Respectfully disagree.  Hug.  Share yours gently.  Listen to them disagree.  Hug again.
  2. If the only people you ever talk to have the exact same position as you on every issue...you're hiding from something.  Stretch yourself.
  3. Just because it works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone.  Get over yourself already.
  4. Examine both sides of an issue before you develop an opinion.  If your source of information is one-sided, find at least one additional (opposing) source and compare.
  5. Feel free to acknowledge that you don't know the right thing to say or do all the time.  It's okay.  None of us do.
  6. If someone wants to join you in your cause, grant some grace and don't demand that they start at the top.  Everyone needs time to build a foundation.

That's pretty much it. 

Anyone care to join?