Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome Back to the Chief Anger Officer

Hello. It's me, you friendly neighborhood Spiderman. I know I haven't been around much lately. See, I've grown tired of of much of the debate in this country. Simply put, it isn't debate anymore. It's religion. It's zealotry. It's people advocating and espousing their "sides" ideals and philosophies and attempting to shout down the other side for their own benefit.

I don't have time for that.

I choose not to take part in that.

You don't have to agree with the "other side" but I think you have to be able to acknowledge that in the vast majority of issue-based debates that 99% of what is being said is opinion, and that your opinion - or mine - is no more "right" than anyone elses opinion. You can respect the person, and their opinion, even if you don't agree with either. No really, you can.

Yes, you can.

Look, I don't care what you really think about abortion, taxes, government, American Idol, Cap'n Crunch, etc. You are, IN MY OPINION, entitled and empowered to think and believe whatever you want about whatever you want. You might think the New York Yankees are the best thing since sliced bread. You might think the Boston Red Sox are the best thing since sliced bread. And you can tell me that until the cows come home if you'd like. But if I didn't ASK you about the Red Sox, or Cap'n Crunch, or budget policies, I reserve the right to tell you to go tell it somewhere else because there's a chance I could not care less. I also reserve the right to listen, and agree or disagree, at my choosing. My choosing. Not yours. Mine. MINE. I don't care what religion you are or to which political party you belong - I don't believe that is the sole definition of who you are, or what you are.

So you might be asking at this point "What do I care about?" and I will tell you that is a reasonable question.

I care about being a good person. Don't define that for me - I will define that for myself (as you should for yourself). I have that right. If you don't like the way I define that for me, get lost. I don't care to know you, and I won't miss you. Conversely, if I don't like the way you define that for yourself, I will probably remove myself from your life.

I think a "good person" treats others with courtesy and respect. They see someone who looks lost and asks if they need directions. They see a child crying and ask if they need help. If asked to help, they usually say yes and do so without expecting anything in return. They mostly follow and observe the laws (I've been known to speed on occasion, hence mostly) and contribute to the betterment of society by waking up, going to work, paying their taxes, etc. They say "please", "thank you", and "you're welcome" and ACTUALLY mean it. Of course they struggle with life sometimes, we all do. We make mistakes, we make bad decisions, and we regret them. I know I have. And I know I try not to repeat them, whenever possible.

In other words, don't be an Ass.

I get that everyone is different, and no one is perfect. There's plenty of room to be colorful, to be "you", within that very general definition of a good person. I think I have a lot of good people in my life, and I think that makes me rather lucky. I also think sometimes good people have their "larger perspective" obscured by the immediateness of what they can often be most passionate at that time, but in the end they are good people and I will try to stick with them. Usually I can, but sometimes I can't.

It's been a while since I've ranted. Feels good to vomit my thoughts into keystrokes.

All I am saying is that we should all strive to be "good people" and treat the people you like in your life as if you like them, even if they are a Yankees fan, or they believe that abortion should be legal, or think that Frosted Flakes pummels Cap'n Crunch. I'm not trying to marginalize you or what you believe - I think it should be part of what defines a person. I'm just saying there's more to life than these insipid little issues.

But that's just my opinion.