I don't have a stance on things. I have many opinions but very rarely do I fall on any particular side of a subject and assert a particular point of view as my own. I am afraid to be political or controversial not because I shy away from loud conversations but because I spend so much time absorbing information that I see the flaws in each side's argument so by endorsing a side, I am, knowingly, signing up for the flaws of which I am well aware.
Combine that with my lack of interest in the aforementioned loud conversations. What is the value of sitting around and picking sides...arguing with someone when the mode of rhetoric is more likely "he who is loudest wins" than "let's have an open dialogue and not persuade each other but realize that we should be united by the disparity of our views and how we explore and cherish that difference, rather than see those divergent positions as a cause of more rancor." Listening to someone make long winded arguments full of holes I could drive a truck through (if I held a CDL)and knowing that when I try to mount a "defense" the other person will not be listening to the underlying logic of what I say but rather will be looking for the little flaws so he can discard the whole. And I suspect that I'm doing much the same thing. I mean, what's the point. Did you know that people get angry at me because I refuse to engage in these conversations? They yell at me because I won't tell them what I believe. No matter how much I try to explain that I see too many problems with any point of view and don't want to open myself up to criticism because it won't help solve any problems, they rant and rave and insist that I say whom I vote for or where I stand on other issues. As if that will help the world solve its problems. Trust me -- I'm not that important.
Have you ever watched C-SPAN. Silly question. I know no one has. I saw a bit of it. It was live coverage from the senate floor. Politician after politician got up to say his piece about some item of legislation. But whom was he arguing with? Whom was he convincing? No one. No one was listening. The exercise was in saying your side without engaging in a dialogue. It was sad, really. But that's what all this cross talk ends up being. I don't care what you say, but you need to hear what I say because you are wrong simply by virtue of holding your position.
We are so interested in assigning blame because we see it as a way to solve our problems. Associate the problem with a source and we can remove the source. Isn't that simple. No. It isn't. Sometimes blaming doesn't solve anything. Finding a solution has nothing to do with going backwards and deciding why things happened.
The children of Connecticut will not return to us if we yell enough about gun control. The people of Sandy Hook will not be comforted if we present slogans or cite statistics about mental illness, about the second amendment or school lockdown procedures. These 20 children who were killed were all our children. And the shooter was our child as well. And as grieving parents we have to put a hold on trying to explain the unexplainable or find reasons for things that defy us. We have to cry, and wake up tomorrow and try to be better parents without getting on a soapbox and saying "I told you so." No one wants to hear that or listen to partisan statements.
Let's take this tragedy as a chance to come together and stop trying to tell each other how wrong everyone else is. Let us honor these children by sitting at a table and moving forward and talking about how we can envision a stronger world without focusing on why anyone who disagrees is actually part of the problem.