Angels and Assholes #17…2016 - Not Angel or A’hole, but Angel and A’hole

Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative, rich/poor, capitalism/socialism, Black/White, Christian/Muslim, left/right, democracy/communism, EU/Brexit, man/woman, angel/a’hole. It’s an endless list. The world would seem to be becoming more and more polarized. We have to be on one side, one extreme or another. 

When the truth is we are all capable of acts of a’holeism as well as acts of kindness, compassion. [Oddly, we often show more compassion for animals than humans. An extreme example would be a white supremacist…a fanatic and a’hole in my world…helping a dog get its foot loose from a fence, when he or she might walk right by a person of the ‘wrong’ color in the same predicament. A thought: would it matter if the dog was a ‘black’ lab or ‘golden’ retriever?]

We seem to be making some progress in the man/woman continuum, although not quickly enough in many areas of the world…here included.

I get angry when someone who may know that I am opposed to the proposed copper mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, accuses me of being anti-mining. Are the miners anti-environment? No. Most are fishermen or women. This is the “Iron Range,” so why would I be against mining? It’s not, nor ever has been or hopefully never will be, the “copper range.” I’m not anti-mining. I’m anti building a mine which will have at least some, if not a lot of, pollution near a pristine wilderness area that supports thousands of people. 

I don’t believe that criminals and terrorists should own guns, much less assault weapons. But I’m not anti-gun. I don’t hunt, but my father hunted, my uncles and nephews hunt, my son and son-in-laws hunt.

I’m not sure where I heard this: “Only the narrow-minded are certain,” but I do believe it. With so much information at our disposal, we have to be careful to search for the truth and reason, not just information that supports our preconceived notions and biases. That may very well polarize our views. It’s almost as if we are able to brainwash ourselves, turning us unto fanatics. Fanaticism is defined as “unreasonable enthusiasm and zeal.” The key word, of course, being “unreasonable.”

When we believe too strongly in something, we can become blind to the truth, which lies somewhere in between the extreme poles. If we only seek information that fuels our biases, we can become unreasonable, unnecessarily polarized. Violent.