The last time I quoted President Obama concerned our disagreement over the subjective use of the word "rich" and how much he thought was "a little more." By surrounding myself with really smart people who subscribe to a different ideology than I do, something magnificent occurs - knowledge. I don't have to agree or change my own beliefs, but only the most close-minded of us can walk away from enlightening conversations without a broader view of ourselves.
I like George Takai. More now than I ever did on Star Trek. Because of what he does. Because of who he is. Today, I stood at the confluence of two posts, one which posted this picture found on his Facebook, and the other an RSS feed in which I found something completely unexpected in the (presumably anti-Obama) linked article. The paragraph simply read,
Obama has a complicated history on gay marriage. As a presidential candidate in 2008, he opposed the California ban but didn’t endorse gay marriage. He later said his personal views on gay marriage were “evolving.”
I replied, "What a powerful statement. I'll admit I was surprised to find this quote in the article. If only more people would "evolve" their personal views to such a level where blind ignorance or hate or even something as archaic as religion would dictate to an individual which opinion to have on a subject rather than using reason or logic. I applaud that statement."
My personal views are evolving all the time as well. I'm pretty sure that's how the learning process works. I'm pretty sure that's how critical thinking works. It is easy to spot those who don't. They display it on their person like a beacon with every labeled affiliation, every bumper sticker.
Considering using the Takai graphic as an avatar but running into translation problems with the size requirement, the one poster suggested I remove all the text and just use the rainbow tulip with the word, "Ally." But I have learned to shy away from labeling myself - it can be so limiting, and at times not all-inclusive.
When I was ignorant, I really disliked the ACLU. They always seemed to be bringing up asinine cases against the most absurd things. Until one day, for me, they didn't. What they were arguing this time made sense. Had they changed or had I changed? Confused by this sudden logical streak they seemed to have, I started thinking back at the other absurdities I thought they had committed and realized all this time they actually had a point. They were watching out for our freedoms by all means possible. The things they were against were things which I simply didn't agree with at the time. That didn't make them wrong, that made me wrong.
This lead to many years of trying to figure out what else I had been wrong about. A great many things as it turns out. Due to programming; upbringing. Nature and nurture in concert doing what these things are supposed to - teach us. But at some point, thinking for ourselves becomes more important than simply seeking out further confirmation of our own beliefs. Under that guise, we will always find what we are looking for.
Once again I quote crowy who recently spaketh, "One of my duties as a human is to grow."
The world is a complex place. Don't be a part of the problem by irrationally dyeing your wool with simplistic solutions. If it doesn't work for everyone, its not a solution. Those who disagree with you are likely just as smart as you, just as hopeful for a better future as you, and just as close-minded as you.
I decided to make my own avatar. Granted its a bit busy design-wise, and may be initially limiting in its scope, but its flexibility allows for growth, and its a starting point. Rather than simply pro-specifics, I'm hoping its message is more anti-ignorance. Because that can be applied to nearly everything, and these are just a few. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying I'm willing to consider your point of view.