Tuesday, June 28, 2005

An odd reminder that the apple and the orange are both fruits

Newt Gingrich has done some bastardly things, okay? Can we just agree to agree on that for the moment? Is it really all that difficult? He's said, done, and spearheaded some rather nasty
partisan political moves that, from my point of view, put his own uncompromising ideology before the needs of the nation that he was supposed to be serving. But that's just me. No, actually it's not, but, well, yeah.

It's easy, almost natural, for us as human beings to divide ourselves. Not literally divide like amoebas or anything, but just to find reasons why I is different from they and why they are not like them. It's like an inborn thing, or maybe it's learned, except it seems that damn near everyone knows how to do it and can do it at the drop of a hat. From the high school categories of jocks, kickers, skaters, headbangers, rich kids, geeks, etc. to today's liberal vs. conservative clashes.

No, I haven't forgotten about Newt Gingrich, we're get back to him, the son of a bitch.

See, NPR does this really cool segment called This I Believe where they invite people to share their beliefs about life, people, the world we live in, whatever. And this latest segment was with none other than Newt Gingrich.

And I gotta tell ya, I sneered when I heard his name, but then he started talking, talking about things like the impermanent state of the world, how our way of life is not as invincible as we may think but just as prone to collapse as any of the world's great civilizations, how people have to be willing to face reality and work for solutions, and I had the realization that, had I not known who it was speaking, I would not have had quite so many doubts about what he had to say. While I certainly don't agree with this man on a great number of things and while he and I almost certainly would not agree on all "the facts" that we're supposed to face or possible solutions to our problems or even what our real problems are, I have to admit that just for one moment, I found myself in agreement with Newt Gingrich.

And that is a weird feeling. Because in moments like that when I find some kind of commonality with someone who seems so different, so opposite to me, I suddenly get this odd reminder of a fact that I shouldn't have forgotten, shouldn't ever forget, and that is that we're both still people, that we're all people, and with that comes some basic built-in stuff we have in common. And it may be small stuff, i.e. we all breathe, we all eat, we all excrete, etc...but as basic as these things are, I still think that they matter because they
mean that we're still human, whether we be liberal or conservative, labor or management, duck or goose. And if we could remember our commonalities more often than our divisions, I tend to think the world would in fact be a better place.

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