Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Way of the Citizen

As the author of this blog, I value friendly debate among readers, with one another and with me, not out of a desire to 'win an argument' but to understand one another better and clarify - together - our concerns and our ideas for moving forward.

This is the role of "talk, talk, talk" (Pam's impatient phrase) in a community and even if our electoral choice is limited to two venal parties, we can be more expansive in our conversation.

Zen teaching warns us about attaching to this or that opinion, clinging to a cherished opinion and defending it. We lose our way here and fall into a sewer of poison. Viewing dialogue, rather, from the perspective of a parent trying to figure out why the baby is crying, and discussing together why the baby might be crying, is a good analogy for debate on this blog.

As a Zen student in somewhat of a democratic republic, correct citizenship brings us back to the realm of opinion but, we hope, with the right priorities in place and a clear direction behind the speech. Serving our families AND our community with meaningful work and upright words is the way of the citizen.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Actually, I think the "talk, talk, talk" I was referring to was how Congress and/or candidates "talk, talk, talk" but when it comes to action there is inertia.

Some would say I flip-flop on some issues. Perhaps. I listen to other opinions, and, sometimes I have to rethink my original opinions.

Since I'm close to perfect, however, that doesn't happen too often. :)

When it comes to politicions what I don't like is talk that simply talk to get elected or to mollify the electorate, talk that results in nothing beyond "talk".

Think of how many of the serious issues facing our country we've (Congress included) been talking about for as long as I can remember in my adult life.

They get really hauled out and really tenderized with talk whenever the issue once again rises to the crisis level.

You mention priorities. Energy, healthcare, social security/medicare have been looming problems for decades.

And now everyone is looking for quick fixes as the pain factor grows. It's a shame we can't work on really viable solutions when the stove is not so hot.

The solutions aren't partisan. The solutions or non-solutions to these, and other issues, affect all Americans.