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Every once in a while I’m asked my opinion about this or that in a political context and a feeling of unease inevitably comes over me. I think to myself:  How can I state my beliefs in a way that will be accepted without the conversation getting derailed into a black & white death match?

This sticky situation stems from the common misconceptions about the state where I spent my formative years and the state where I’ve chosen to live as an adult. You see, I’m the product of a mixed cultural marriage between Kansas, a decidedly conservative state, and Oregon, a state that is equally rooted in liberal views. So, some wonder, “Is she with us or them?” Stupid, isn’t it?

Well, here’s my answer… I think there are way too many people in the country today who only experience what is put before them. They get one view of our world and accept everything they hear from those sources. I’ve seen this on both sides of the fence. Conservative friends have inquired about “my liberal views” and liberal friends have automatically assigned conservative beliefs to me that are not mine. Of course, I have views…about everything, but they never quite fit what people assume. Maybe that’s why I’m so inspired by the duality of life’s struggles and comparisons of opposites in my writing. Usually, the thought that I leave with after having a political/cultural conversation is: Wow! People really don’t know or appreciate their own country or the people who populate it.

Not that I know everything–I would never be so presumptuous to claim that. Even when I’m ‘in the moment’ and feel like I have an inspired insight I still, deep down, say to myself, “But, what do I know?”

So, what DO I know? There are really only three things and here they are:

1) All people want a decent life. A good life. Some people are lucky and get it; some people are not lucky and for many reasons don’t get it but every single person wants to be happy and healthy and feel loved.

2)  We’re all in this together, so we’d better get it together.


3)  In the end, what I really know is that I truly know nothing and I take comfort in the words of Confucius who so wisely said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”


Comments on: "Opposite Sides; Same Coin" (6)

  1. Amen, sister. I tell everyone who asks about my travels that all that all people want all over the world is a job, take care of their family and have a place to live. Although, now that I think about it, health care is pretty important, too. As always, you speak the truth.

  2. Very nice post! It is a conundrum. The internet and cable broadcasts are both increasingly filled with news and data, much of it rife with disinformation and most of it aimed at furthering various agendas. As a native North Carolinian, I have a similar burden (being considered both a socially liberal Southerner and a fiscally conservative Northwesterner) and find myself never quite agreeing with anyone.
    We are all in this together. A healthy dose of tolerance and teamwork would be a great boon to us all 🙂

  3. Stupid wisdom catches me saying “duh” a lot and then I feel more like Homer Simpson again and things just get better.

    Thanks again for sharing Dena!

    Hey – wanna make a date for April 13th to see the opening of the 3 stooges movie??

  4. So well said Dena! I relate as well, not wanting to rock the boat. To liberal for Arkansas/Texas, to conservative for Oregon. Bottom line is that I try and treat everyone with respect and as a human being with feelings and beliefs that make them who they are. There is something to learn from everyone.

  5. Wanda said:

    You know somethin’ Dena, and it’s not nothin’.

    Besides, even though everyone knows what gravity does (holds us down and keeps us from floating around)…..even scientists admit no one knows what gravity IS.

  6. Trudy said:

    Amazing post Dena, I couldn’t agree with you more!

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