I speak for the trees…

Do you think that the trees would have agreed with the Lorax?  They couldn’t talk…perhaps they would have wanted the Lorax to firebomb the Once-ler.  We’ll never know.  Some ego that Lorax had.

I don’t like people speaking for me.  It’s why I am an independent voter, and why I kick my boyfriend when he speaks for me at a party. But lately I’ve found myself arguing the viewpoints of others I might not have in the past, and I had to pause to consider why I am doing this.

I’ve been known to play devil’s advocate.  I admit that sometimes, especially when I was younger, I’ve done this just to start controversy. But stirring up things also is a way to shift people’s perspective, even if just for a moment, so they can see that things are not black and white, but shades of gray. And in these shades of gray there is a common ground where we can all meet and use it as a starting place to come to an agreement.

For example, if you stare at a still life subject, like apples in a bowl, you can see colors and shades that the person a foot over to the left doesn’t see.  That’s why when you paint your apple, it may have green stripes, and your neighbor’s may have yellow stripes.  It’s the same subject, but we just see it differently because of where we sit (or our past experiences, or basic beliefs, or what have you).  Neither is wrong.  The truth of what color is the apple is hazy. It is futile to argue with someone that there is a concrete color that is truthful. The hope is that somewhere in those subtleties of color can we find the subject’s essence.

So, in this left-leaning thought bubble of the Bay Area, I’ve strangely been the one arguing more center in a discussion, or just right of left if that’s all it has to be.  It’s not because I am suddenly going to run off to the suburbs, buy a tract house, get blond hair extensions, attend a Republican convention and buy a silver CRV.  Not that any of that is inherently wrong, but it’s just not me. But, when I’ve found myself asking questions about what’s going on politically here, I find myself on the “right” side of a chasm, with people staring at me like I’m one of the women from the Real Housewives of Orange County.

So, I’m left wondering why people who went to college and were taught to think critically, would automatically fall in line with one side of an argument based on what they feel is “progressive,” and consider anyone who doesn’t automatically agree with that line of thought as someone who is not “progressive” by process of elimination?

Well, why Rome burns, I’ll let you all ponder that. I’m going to take a few weeks off. I should have some new tales to tell in March.




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