Celebrating Our Differences

Blog 2380 – 05.01.2022

Celebrating Our Differences

Majoring on minors seems to be the true American Pastime these days. Baseball has long been eclipsed by what I and some others call “nit picking.” I learned some years ago first hand where that name comes from when my little girl, at the time, got head lice from one of her classmates at a private Christian school that she and her two brothers attended. Nits are the tiny little lice eggs that have to be removed from the hair with a small fine toothed comb and it is a long and tedious process, no fun at all for parent or child in our case.

Lice eggs have to be removed or the infestation gets worse and continues to spread. But, nit picking in it’s more common usage is really just finding fault or as the first line of this blog suggests “majoring on minors.”

Most, if not all of our differences, are just preferences and have little real consequences. Some few however are not so harmless as important rights and responsibilities hang in the balance. Our right to free speech for example does not give us leave to yell fire in a crowded theater and thereby endanger the lives and well-being of others. We have a duty to the greater good to speak truth even when we are not under oath. We have a social contract to do unto others as we would have them do unto us by respecting their rights as we expect them to respect ours. This means certain antisocial behaviors cannot be tolerated i.e. killing, stealing, bearing false witness, and violence.

Still, nit picking per se is not about those behaviors just things that make us uncomfortable. When did Americans and people at large get to be such “snowflakes” that we have come to think a difference of opinion is an assault. And that the dirtiest words are: “I disagree with you.” The thought police are working overtime and Orwell’s 1984 seems right at the door. If “Making American Great Again” means our clan always gets to call the shots and disagreements are settled with re-education or eradication of other view points, that does not sound so great to me.

Tolerance and compromise are not dirty words just necessary and needful attributes in a pluralistic society, a democracy. It does not mean we have to agree on all points, but it does mean we need to allow differing view points and if we listen we might even learn something – that perhaps we are not so different after all.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


Not That Different

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