As I move from this sentence to the rest of these little musings, I’m going to try my best not to show left- or right-wing bias. Of course, I can’t promise anything. The title of this piece was prompted by a letter to the editor I just read in my local newspaper. The writer was obviously bothered by a position someone in the community had taken on an issue. As I read the letter, I couldn’t help but think why, why the reader felt compelled to write this letter. Then, it dawned on me, most of us have a problem allowing someone else to have the last word, the last idea, the last proposal for the good of the order.
I honestly believe that there are some people who, if I walked outside, as I started my day, and I proclaimed it to be a beautiful day, they would say it’s not. Some folks would be offended by my acknowledgement of what I felt to be a God-given day to enjoy to the fullest. My proclamation wouldn’t have risked harm to anyone, yet it was offensive somehow.
Let’s advance this idea of “why a counter argument?” Scientists have concluded that climate change is caused by two sources; 1) Natural – Volcanic eruptions would be an example of this. The heat and gases spewed from volcanoes have a direct impact on the environment. Most of us would have no argument with that; and 2) Humans- We produce harmful gases due to our efforts to make the planet more hospitable for our existence. The latter does produce countless counter arguments. Even if some of us are not overwhelmingly convinced that we are major contributors to global warming, why can’t we agree that efforts to clean up the environment would be a good thing for everyone? Why can’t positions taken by those of us intended for good, and not inherently harmful for anyone be worthy of consideration versus an attack on mom, baseball and apple pie? If you think like me, you have strong suspicions why, but as I said earlier, I’m going to try to keep my bias out of this. Conversely, why can’t someone bothered by a sunny day, with calm winds and temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius), be an opportunity to have a civil conversation with someone who felt differently, versus an argument?
It seems sometimes that we spend inordinate amounts of time arguing over issues that really don’t matter. Meantime, we demonstrate very little concern for the human needs that prevail all around us. The Christian Bible contains two verses in Isaiah 1: 17- 18a – “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now and let us reason together…” There are some who would take argument with that. Really. How could you? Oops. My bias is showing, isn’t it?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.