Because That’s How I Roll

This week, I have been pondering unity, or rather, disunity. There is so much of it in the world, a person only needs to turn on his or her television to be reminded of it. Especially during a political season, disunity is so apparent. In the U.S., thoughtful and passionate people identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans. The country is eagerly divided between red states and blue states when, in fact, it’s actually colored hues of violet.

But, political ideology isn’t the sole instrument of division and the problem isn't limited to the United States. Religion, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, educational and economic status have, for generations, been used to separate people from one and other.

And, I can’t help but wonder why it has to be this way. Because that’s how I roll.

I have my theories, of course. I believe many find it easier to hate than to love. It’s also easier to quickly throw our hands up in confusion, than take the time to understand something different, or to demonstrate fear rather than courage.

By choosing to cut a person up into categories--black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jew, gay, straight, Democrat, Republic, man, woman, poor, rich, native, or foreign--rather than seeing him or her as whole, we are being weak-minded and following a path of least resistance.

I don’t have to agree with a person in every way to be his or her friend. People don’t have to come from a similar background, share a faith, or live a particular lifestyle for me to value their existence. I wouldn’t want a world full of people just like me because it would be as interesting and beautiful as a monochromatic rainbow. And while I don’t turn a blind eye to stark differences between peoples, cultures, and ideologies, I believe in looking, first and foremost, at what is shared and common.

Because that’s how I roll.

Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement. Tolerance doesn’t always equal condonation. All I strive for is respect and understanding. It’s really not that lofty of a goal.

I support thoughtful and vigorous debate, but to disagree without being disagreeable. I believe my own truths as well people’s right to have and believe in their own truths. Rather than see the world in terms of black and white, I much prefer a pleasing sepia tone or any shade of grey. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing much grey matter-- figuratively and literally--in what is presented in the media, from the pulpit, and from world leaders these days. And I can’t help but hang my head in embarrassment and grieve for a better, more united, world.

Because that’s how I roll.


patches said...

I would label this post many things, but random? It reads well thought. You and I approach diversity in many of the same ways.

Political convention overload?

kenju said...

BRAVO! AMEN! I wish I had written that!

Connie said...

You are not the only one who prefers to drive in the middle of (or all over!) the road. Roll on!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Well said! Kudos to you!

karey m. said...

i know.

just that. i know. i'm with ya.

also? i've just spent a hell of a lovely time catching up with you.


Dianne said...

You roll like a champ!

Miss Bond said...

"Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement."


Claire said...

That's how I roll too, hon. Great post.


Yelli said...

What a articulate and thoughtful piece. I hope with the past few years behind us, we can ALL (red and blue alike) start to think like this more and not like this.


running42k said...

I roll the same way. You hit it on the head with the it is easier to hate then love comment.

I think the need to belong, the tribal mentality, is why we divide along groups. Too bad being part of the human race isn't enough for some.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the post but didn't like the analogy about the monochromatic rainbow being uninteresting. I kept thinking, man, wouldn't it be cool to just see a red rainbow in the sky some random day? Or green? How crazy! And interesting... but I get your point of course.

Barney said...

Valley Girl heck!… In than last post, you sounded more like that kool-aid drinking Obama sycophant Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. In fact this blog post of yours was almost like reading Olbermann’s blog. Could the guy have any less journalistic integrity if he tried? He might as well become a campaign manager working for the new messiah Obama.
This kind of “in the can for Obama” journalism is absolute the reason that Fox blows away all of those other cable news network channels put together. It is also the reason that no one who really wants to be informed reads the New York Times either. Fortunately for must of us (who actually care about the REAL FACTS) Fox News gives you both sides of the issues and lets you make your own decisions from the facts.
Why such excitement for Obama? I can’t see one substantive thing that this guy has EVER done (except perhaps) take the Democrat Party away from the Clintons. This guy has great speech writers and a wonderful delivery, but not much else that I can see. What the heck has he DONE? This guy is just a “snake oil” salesman with a great P.R. manager with a lot of smoke and mirrors. I have not seen an ego like this guy’s since William Jefferson Clinton showed up on the political scene. But what is even more concerning is that at least Clinton had some sort of executive experience in his resume where Obama has none. With Obama there is just no THERE there.
As for where Obama might take the country… do you remember the Jimmy Carter era? Doubtable… but in a historical perspective for you, here’s what it brought us:
Extremely long Gas lines ~ 14% APR Housing loans ~ double-digit inflation ~ High (5.6%-7.8%) unemployment coupled with slow economic growth. Productivity growth in the United States had declined to an average annual rate of 1 percent ~ and one that really (personally) upsets me as a Vietnam Vet, was the unconditional amnesty for Vietnam War-era draft evaders. To me though, the worst one of all was the Iran hostage crisis in which 52 Americans were taken hostage for almost a year (until Reagan was elected). The Iranians knew that Reagan was not going to be a sap for these radial Islamic terrorists (like Carter was) and they decided to send the hostages home. The crisis ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after the new American president Ronald Reagan was sworn in.
To me Obama is just a recycled version of Jimmy Carter without the experience of:
• running a business,
• having been in the service, or even having
• any sense of humility
Frankly how can Michelle Obama stand up there and moan on about how this country is not fair to its people (and how we can do better) when she and her husband made over $4,000,000 last year alone. They should be poster children for the fact that ANYONE can do it. The only thing that most people seem to be excited about is that Obama is black and while I think it is very neat that a black man can to a candidate for president of the United States, in my opinion Martin Luther King had it right when he said; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I for one am NOT impressed with the content of Obama’s character and I believe that any sort of logical thought from Obama that doesn’t involving taxing American citizens (in some sort of redistribution of wealth scheme) may in fact be (as he would put it) “above his pay grade!”
But then… that’s just how I roll! Be careful what you wish for!
P.S. By the way Rich (sic) Limbaugh is actually Rush Limbaugh and Fox News is actually a NEWS channel and not one of those ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN types that call themselves news channels but are actually liberally biased truth distorters.

Love ya! Barney