Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion – On Differences

Dear Friends,
       It seems that everyone is talking about how divided our country has become; be it movies, TV shows, food (diet), education, work, or politics. I admit that I was caught up in this division of what matters and what needs to be done but I finally took time to really look at what we so differ on and why.
       First, my parents had different views, money, clothes, eating, and politics. I recall them discussing their differing views with each other and neighbors over coffee. They often expounded upon the future of this country, what I do not recall is screaming, vulgar language, or a lack of debate. In school we had classes on debating and a debate club, debating was facts presented intelligently, pro and con on a given subject. It was a skill, an art, and it was a way of being informed. Politicians debated issues, sometimes they would do this on TV at a time when we only had three channels to choose from which meant we would not get to see Bonanza (or whatever was scheduled that night) but mom and dad watched intently. For days the neighbors would discuss the debate, who made the most sense, who had the most facts, who do you trust and why, who looked the best, OK that was the moms, but no one ever raised their voice or in any way sounded like staying friends was being threatened.
       So what happened? Mass media is feeding diverse views twenty four hours a day, but are they informing us or pushing opinions? Then there is a big social change; we no longer communicate face to face, we text or Email, we may talk to each other but it is usually on a cell phone which has become very impersonal.
       So what has changed? Our wants, desires, and aspirations we no longer take a job and work for a pension or a gold watch, how many follow in their father’s (parents) footsteps taking on the family business or working the same company? How many are willing to work 40 hour weeks at the same job even career? Today jobs and careers are changed with no gold watch in the future, there is little to evoke loyalty when it is so easy to leave and start another income. Could that be part of the problem, when you no longer work at something you are proud of to provide for your family how easy is it to just walk away? How many multiple families do we have today? Billy has six or eight grandparents and Sally will be going to her father’s house for the weekend and his new wife will be taking her shopping. Holidays are no longer just a matter of cook, invite family, and eat, now it’s first; whose turn is it to have dinner, who was there last year, who has who for the holiday this year. Cards are no longer written out to fill a list; instead a click of a contact list sends everyone an electronic greeting. Call me old fashioned but my wife and I still enjoy sending and receiving hand written messages written on a handpicked holiday card.


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