Before we get back to our normal programming schedule, and I WILL get back to my normal programming schedule of reporting on our lovable neighborhood and its wondrous happenings because it’s my New Year’s Resolution, I want to annoy you with what’s been in my head lately.
Earlier this month, I took this quiz that told me I’m an idealistic leftist crackpot who identifies most closely with the Green Party, politically. That’s true, that’s my inclination. Since that’s my natural inclination, you know who I need to listen to? In a perfect world, I mean. Which I acknowledge we don’t live in. But in a perfect world filled with people having only good intentions, I should listen to a right winger.
You heard me. Because someone coming from the opposite view would provide insights that I hadn’t thought of. And a right winger should listen to me (and/or other leftists) because WE would provide the counterbalance to THEIR ideas. And together, we would come up with better ideas, because working together we would patch up the holes in each other’s ideologies.
But that’s not how it works (or it’s not how things have been, for the last tens of thousands of years of human civilization). We don’t work together, at least not on a large scale. We don’t respect each other’s ideas and give them full merit, because to do so might suggest that we might not be perfect and right all the time. (GASP! The horror!) So instead of someone saying, “Hmmm, I never thought of it that way. But have you considered this?” I get called a libtard who should just leave the country because I suck so bad, and the conversation never really happens.
Then, throw in the fact that fundraising has overcome good governing and you have the two major political parties more concerned with how their “brand” suffers than how people suffer. And then everyone suffers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead they saw one “brand,” the United States? A place where we did some horrible things (nearly wiped out a race of people through disease and bad policy, slavery, treating every new immigrant group badly until we decide we like their food and/or music) but also somehow managed to take in the rejects from every other nation on earth, and turn their contributions into the richest and most powerful nation on earth? What if we admitted that people who are different from us, who think and act and dress and smell different than us, actually ENHANCE our country and our lives? Because if they didn’t, we’d still be listening to harpsichord music and eating boiled beef. (Yeah, English people, you contributed a nifty system of law, but…come on. You know you need help.)
For a few decades, we have allowed “me-ism” to overtake “we-ism.” I’m not talking about turning the United States into a commune, I’m talking about how we make decisions. Think about merging traffic — if everyone lets their one car in, and nobody tries to sneak in more than one car length, we fit together like a zipper and move forward, even if it is slower than if we didn’t have to merge at all. But it just takes one selfish jerk to mess up the system and grind it to a halt.
I can’t control what other people do or how they choose to act. But along with actually writing on this blog again, my other New Year’s Resolution will be to try the best I can not to be a selfish jerk, and try to work and play well with others. I just need a Jiminy Cricket to help me see when I’m not doing that so well, because like everyone else, I have blinders to my own faults. But maybe admitting THAT at least is a step in the right direction?
*Speaking of noodles, isn’t it remarkable how just about every type of cuisine has noodles of one sort or another? Even though eating gluten has become a surefire death sentence? Well, rice noodles don’t have gluten I guess.