So I wound up thinking about the American political climate lately. Yes, I know this is a bad idea, one only destined to give me ulcers and headaches, but it did lead me to muse about the nature of extreme thoughts and beliefs. Without that, I wouldn’t have a Monday article for you, so I suppose it worked out in the end, eh?
“The truth often lies somewhere in the middle.” It’s a not-uncommon saying to hear, is it? It speaks both of the fact that often the truth between two people’s sides of an event lie somewhere in the middle and it also can be applied to any ideological dispute between two extremists. Often the best way to deal with a situation isn’t the one touted by either extreme of an argument, but lies somewhere in the middle. It’s the classic case for compromise that many people like to think they hold to heart.
It’s a good saying, one I too like to say. But there’s one part of that saying that a lot of people tend to ignore, and that’s the ‘often’ part. Like many rules or sayings, it isn’t an absolute one. Let’s take an obvious, extreme example. One side argues that human slavery is fine and healthy for the country, while the opposite side argues that humans should be free. Both of those sides are extremes, diametrically opposed groups. Obviously, the answer isn’t ‘somewhere in the middle’ there.
The trick, then, comes down into finding those times when compromise isn’t called for. The times when taking a stand on the extreme side of an issue is the correct and moral path to take. This gets even more complicated when you look at the tangle of ideologies, belief systems, and the like that surround human culture. When and where should draw your line in the sand?
I wish I could give each and every one of you reading an answer. All I can say is that my personal belief is that freedom, equality, and happiness are my personal watchwords. Whatever yours are, just remember to try to be receptive to compromise, but never be shy from planting your feet to protect your principles.
What do you think? Where are your lines in the sand? Are there really things on which we should not budge or is compromise truly the ultimate watchword? Talk about in the comments below!
Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!