Sunday, October 12, 2008

Three Beautiful Things 10/11/08: Friends With Differences, JBelle: Fair Play/Good Thoughts, The New Yorker's Perspective

1. Friendships and good working relationships at my job mean more to me than politics. This goes way back for me, in part, because my way of seeing the world has often been at odds with many of my best friends and I grew up in a political environment, in Kellogg, where my father's best friends were divided between labor and management, but left those divisions outside the door when they gathered to watch sporting events, play cards, go on road trips, bowl, and be friends with each other.

Therefore, when I discovered last night night that my wonderful blog friend MGM and I discovered that we are opposed to each other in every way regarding the upcoming election, I found deep relief, and it strengthened my affection for MGM, when we acknowledged our differences, and moved almost immediately into what we care the most about in our correspondence: our families, our love of North Idaho, our honesty with each other, our concern for one another's welfare, etc. I love being friends with people I don't agree with on social and political matters. Mainly, I enjoy listening, testing my outlook, reveling in variety, and admiring the many ways intelligent and passionate convictions take form among me and my friends who genuinely want what's best for our country, states, cities, families, and, lastly, ourselves.

2. Thinking along these lines of what we do with our disagreements and how we engage those we oppose, another wonderful blog friend, JBelle, comes to mind. I don't know if JBelle and I see things the same politically, but at a Spokesman-Review blog, Community Comment, commenters were heaving nastiness about Gov. Sarah Palin around. JBelle intervened:

I was in My Lai Viet Nam last December. I was astounded that under the circumstances the mothers there not only allow their children to talk to Americans but encourage it. It was then I realized that hate and fear are taught; I realized then as I do now that peace begins with me. The mothers of My Lai should be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize because they refused to let fear nor hate invade their children's psyche nor soul. Their powerful example stays with me so I encourage you to ask yourselves why GSP sparks your fear and then ask you, respectfully, if there isn't a better place for your fears than in "hate posts" here. And I ask you to think good thoughts for all the Presidential candidates and their running mates and for the people of the United State of America. We need it. In the most desperate of ways.

I don't know if JBelle and I have serious differences, but we know we are different: in our taste, lifestyle, ambitions, and worship. We have North Idaho in common. Something in that region affected us similarly and we both want fair play, good thoughts for the candidates, good things for our country. Reading her post in the comments at Community Comment was a beautiful part of my day.

3. It's no surprise that The New Yorker strongly endorsed Obama. I found the endorsement not only ringing but eloquent. You can read it here. In the same article, George Packer goes on the road in Ohio and investigates issues of class and race in the election, here.


JBelle said...

Are we that different? Who you voting for in the Colorado Senate race?


MGM said...

Thank you. I, too, appreciated that our different political views are easily compartmentalized and that good friendship rises above all that. I am more passionate about politics in the current presidential election than I ever have been in the past, but my passion for these opinions will never outdo my passion for the integrity of a kindred spirit, a rewarding friendship, and another caring soul.

Besides, I can't blame you for your political opinions. You DO live in Eugene, Oregon after all. (I am teasing you a bit, of course. I am also not suggesting that you are simply going with the flow of the push of your local climate; I know you are a critical thinker.)

The husband and I were recently snickering about the vast general differences between political opinions in Oregon versus the political opinions in Missouri. During this discussion, I couldn't help remembering vividly the whole push to remove the cross from Skinner's Butte back in 1997 or so. And also around that time I remember the state's overall vote in favor of assisted suicide.

That was my first year living in Eugene, and I thought the views there were very bizarre!