• JOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin

TALKING TO OTHERS

I love my sister. She is kind, giving and caring. Our parents brought us up with the same beliefs and values. Our ideas were formed by the same community where we both grew up with privilege. Today, I would do anything for my sister except go along with her politics.

We both get red in the face and have fire in our eyes because we both feel passionately about a number of things. I think that I absolutely know what is right and what is wrong. So does she. We get angry and then we regret having our anger.

Because we are brother and sister we continue to care about one another. There are many with whom I disagree and for whom I don't regret my anger. I am constantly trying to justify my demonizing those who I suspect are destroying all the things that I have believed in for 82 years.

I am terrified for our future when, like this morning, I read in the New York Times that we are entering a race with the Russians for small nuclear weapons, that our war in Yemen is causing so much harm to civilians in this poorest of poor nations, that the nominee to lead the Council of Environmental Quality was anti-science and she called renewable energy " unreliable and parasitic and described global warming "a creed, a dogma that hasn't anything to do with science, that Pay Day lenders whom have bought favor in Washington were once again being given permission to ream our most vulnerable borrowers, and on and on.

DOESN'T ANYONE CARE?,

I think to myself, spittle beginning to form around my mouth. At breakfast after reading the paper my wife gets an earful. I know that to be silent is to be complicit yet I hesitate to take my anger public, because I want to be a moderate.


THE PROBLEM WITH TRYING TO BE A MODERATE

As a moderate it is my duty to believe that there is truth on both sides. That it is as important to listen as well as rant.

But then I read that to move towards a moderate view implies weakness while to embrace extremism is to acknowledge the dangers we face and a commitment not to embrace the enemy. Who wants to be labeled as being a wishy washy, flip flopping unprincipled wimp,

but then who wants to be Donald Trump. What is one to do?


I believe that one can keep their ideals and passion by continuing to seek truth and justice while listening and caring. There is nothing wrong with standing up to messages and actions that can cause harm to others. I think today we have to learn how to have a better

conversation.

As much as I love music I can't handle my neighbors music when I am painting in my quiet back yard. Should I shout at my idiot neighboor?, or should I not say anything?

How should we be talking?

John Osler













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