Friday, December 19, 2008

Holding the Center

The phrase "the center cannot hold" is one I have repeated to quite a few people lately, in reference to the division of opinions in this country. I knew the quote was from someone famous but I confess I first heard it on Kim Possible. Great show!

Anyway I finally looked it up, it is from a poem by William Butler Yeats entitled "The Second Coming." He wrote it in relation to the devastation that was World War I. For him at that time it must have felt like the world was coming apart and maybe even coming to an end.

Now, I don't think things are as bad for us as they must have looked for Yeats but it does feel like there is a battle of ideology going on between Conservatives and Liberals, the right and the left.

I picture it like a massive tug of war, with each side pulling mightily. If the center does not hold we all fall down. The more we keep cutting at each other, it is like taking swipes at the rope and making it easier for the center to snap. Now I could go into all sorts of analogies with this, but my viewpoint as of this moment is that we all need to take a deep breath and knock off all of the attacking.
I truly believe that the vast majorities of Americans love this country and want what is best for all of us. We just have different ideas of how to go about it. On both sides we need to acknowledge the good intentions.

I'm not delusional enough to think there are not some who do wish harm to America and it's people. But, there is so much goodness in the nation. The more that we can recognize and engender goodness the less effect these harm doers can have.
I also firmly believe that Conservative values are going to be the principles that best guide this nation. But, one of my personal values is to value other people, their perspectives and ideas.

Another line from Yeats poem "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Let's not go there. State your views be who you are, and respect one another's point of view. For the center to hold the best need to take strength in each other from all sides. Stand up for what is good, and reach out to others in the process. We all want this nation to continue to succeed.

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