Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The difference between people and ideas

As we all saw in the last election cycle, it is easy to get caught up in hating ideas, and projecting all of those negative feelings towards an individual.  Even more than the extreme examples of racism, bigotry and misogyny from the election and even the daily paper, I think that fear, of the unknown, of what we dislike, or of what might result from a particular decision, can drive each person to say things and do things that misrepresent their true intentions.

I know when I get fired up about something, I'll defend it further than I have to. I'll push harder and dig deeper, just to make sure I've done everything in my power to support the person/idea/issue that I truly believe in.

But, I also believe that most people are acting with the best of intentions, that we all want our world, our country, to be a safer, healthier, happier place. Theft, murder, rape, bullying; These things would nearly drop out of existence, I think, if we weren't so good at making "us" and "them" categories.  It is easy to lose the emotional connection to them because, who are they? We don't know them. They don't think, feel or act the same way was as we do, right?

To that, I say, YES!, they do think, feel and act in similar ways, with similar intentions. Similar good intentions (most of the time). So, it is on this note that I wanted to share a recent interview between Cindy McCain and her daughter. I never disliked John McCain - in fact, he helped get my dad off the Terror Watch List!  I disagreed with some of his ideas, but I also agreed with some (the same is actually true of Barack Obama as well). We'll leave the VPs for another discussion. I especially like this interview because it really does feel like a conversation between mother and daughter. It is fluid, open, and helps remind us that regardless of differing opinions, we're all still people.

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