50 Shades of gray


As I get older I find that I’m becoming a contrarian. Well, I suspect I’ve always been one, I’m just becoming even more of one.

When everyone goes left, I go right. Whenever everyone goes right, I go left. It’s that way with big and little decisions

Here’s what I mean:

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Guns

When gun control advocates attempt to paint law-abiding gun owners with the stench of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the worst in U.S. history or any number of other incidents, I want to stop and question them on how they plan to legislate craziness. I want to stop them in their tracks and point out that the Las Vegas killer chose a gun, but just as easily could have created a bomb and killed just as many people.

When gun enthusiasts point immediately after a shooting to the second amendment, I want to say to them: Yes, you are correct, guns don’t kill, people do, but instead of just fighting new laws, what are you doing to stop the next killing? We have simple rules to make sure that everyone who drives a car is of age and can meet certain basic requirements, why not the same for everyone who carries a gun? And more important, what are you doing to be part of the solution?

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Pro-Choice, Pro-Life

When protestors in the streets raise their posters and voices in favor of a woman’s right to choose, I want to ask them if they’ve listened to the heartbeat of a growing fetus. Have they watched an ultrasound? Do they realize there’s life inside the womb? How can they justify the killing?

When a man or woman marches in front of an abortion clinic and raises a Pro-life poster, I want to ask them why they think any sane, logical person would ever go to a clinic to have an abortion, unless they had to, unless they had limited options. They’re choosing to get an abortion because they’re in a bad relationship, failed to plan, or are not prepared for having a child. Yes, there may be exceptions, but whatever the case, they’re certainly not ready and open to bringing a new life into this world. I want to ask them too what they’re doing to help young, unwed mothers and their children? If you say no to abortion, then you sure as hell better be in favor of the tools and resources to help these children grow up in a safe, healthy, loving home.

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Freedom of speech

When people complain about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, I want to thank them for their interest in respecting the flag, but then I want to ask them a few questions: Do they remember to stand for the flag in the comfort of their own home? I want to ask them too when they’ve last protested Macy’s or Target or Walmart and any number of stores for mishandling the flag by selling shirts, shorts, pillows and any number of items with flag-like images on them?

For the people who would kneel during the National Anthem, I want to ask them if dishonoring the flag is really the best way to get their point across to others. Many of the kneelers say their protesting racial inequality. I hear them, I hear their concerns, but I want to ask them to think about family members or friends who’ve served in the Armed Forces to fight for and protect our rights. Does kneeling really honor them? We have the “right” to say many things, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. For example, I have a right to call someone a jerk, but just because I have that right doesn’t make it a smart move.

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Immigration

When people talk about ramping up our border patrol and building a wall to keep  immigrants out, I want to ask them about their family members. Did all of their ancestors enter legally? I want to ask them if they’ve ever considered the plight of a refugee, to simply be living your life and have everything you know and are used ravaged because of war and strife.

When people reflexively take the other side, I want to ask how they would protect our jobs, our families, our financial interests, and what steps they would take to weed out the “ISIS members in hiding” who would do us harm.

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The West Wing

When hardline fans of President Trump want to tell me what a wonderful job he’s doing, I want to ask them if they’ve thought about why so many would disagree. Have they even considered the other side? I’m not talking about the far-left, I’m talking about the guy down the street who’s on a fixed income and worried about his medical insurance going away or the former college roommate with family members just trying to survive in Puerto Rico, who had to listen to President Trump say that Hurricane Maria was nothing compared to “a real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina.

When others want to tell me that President Trump isn’t their president, I want to point out how election day has come and gone and that he’s our president whether they like him or not. I want to remind them that for better or worse, we have one president and he’s it. I want to remind them that we need to pray for our shared best interest and welfare.

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Compassion for others

I’m sure I anger the far left and the far right. I’m sure someone on both sides of the aisle will take offense with my comments. I hope not, but that’s the way it goes. Frankly, I don’t think I’m very different from the core of our country.

And yes, I have my own thoughts on many of these issues, but I find now that I see many different shades of the truth. I’d like to think that I just have more compassion now for people, no matter their gender, skin color, religion, or background.

You may disagree. Of course, it could just be that I tire of the political whirlwind that we often find ourselves in everyday life and know-it-alls and hypocrites in both of the major parties. Or it could be the gray rain that’s outside my window.

 

 

 

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