Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tolerating Reality

I rarely recommend anything published in The New York Times. Frank Bruni's "I'm A White Man. Hear Me Out." stands as a worthy exception.

Intolerance is a hot topic in today's headlines. Whether it's a Google firing over an unpopular viewpoint, violence over political differences, or being shouted down due to philosophical differences, we Americans are behaving with increasing immaturity and irrationality in the face of opposing opinions. Black, white, left, right--we are, all of us, much more than the sum of our parts. Too many of us have forgotten that fact--or worse, we have never learned it. We are, each one of us, responsible for the decisions and actions in our own lives. It is our own choice to protest, to counter-protest, to speak out on one or the other side of an issue.

Screaming into the wind accomplishes nothing except making noise. It is not the fault of the president or the police if things go badly due to our own actions. If we decide to take a principled stand, we had best be prepared to accept the consequences. Results won't always break our way. The fact that things don't turn out as we want them do does not automatically equate with hatred, oppression, or racism. Occasionally we need to accept the challenging idea that we may have been wrong.

All of us will be wrong, sometimes. Hopefully, that's how we learn. If we learn, we grow. That's a reality of life.