Not long ago, I got to thinking about the whole issue of so-called "fence sitting" and typically not having strong opinions about some of the hot-button topics that get a lot of people up in arms.
As I muddled my way through some things of no great importance, I was reminded of a long time ago — thirty years, give or take — when I was involved in a number of different "business opportunities," quite a few of them loosely speaking in the field of network marketing.
I was often encouraged to "pick one, and NOT the other" but generally ended up just looking at all of them... and then slowly backing away. As far as I was concerned, it was a better course of action to simply declare the whole thing messed up than trying to persuade people that they were "wrong."
In the end, the outcome of my non-decision was that I determined that my personal situation would be best served not by participating, but by selling information and printed materials that was relevant to all of them.
Which, in turn, reminded me of my book editing business, which works substantially within the New Age, Spirituality, Religion and Self-Help fields. I will do an excellent job of editing someone's book, regardless of whether I think their ideas are brilliant or a crock of shit. My job is to provide editing services, not to editorialize on the morality or common sense of people's work. There are plenty of professional critics out there who will tear them to shreds... or not.
And so, I circle back to politics and people's philosophical leanings. I think there are certain aspects of most such philosophies that have at least marginal merit, and aspects that don't. I prefer to take whatever attributes I find to be useful and make them mine, and reject the rest, independently of whose lips they came from.
Which is pretty much how I ended up with my religious/spiritual beliefs, which is no "canned doctrine," yet contains elements of a great many different canned doctrines across the religious spectrum. Point being, they are mine, not some package of goods I was demanded to fully embrace... or get lost.
Which all pretty much adds up to a latter-day version of something several of my school teachers were inclined to say: "seems challenged by group activities and does not always play well with others."
That was actually teacherspeak for my general reluctance to throw all my efforts and energy at one single idea, later reflected in the fact that I could never get into the sort of rabid single-minded fandom that seemed to go hand in hand with supporting a sports team. Which isn't to say that I didn't share in the celebrations when Denmark won the 1992 European Football (soccer) cup.
It's just not THAT important.
Speaking of "editing" one of the more interesting editing gigs I have done in the past couple of years was for a writer who was taking on this exact sort of issue in the area of religion, writing a pretty scathing criticism of conventional "churches" for preaching love and then condemning people who didn't just blindly accept every word they spread.
Along the way of this thing called "life," most of the thinking individuals I have met tend to have had a greater capacity to "choose THEIR OWN side" as opposed to "choosing sides."
Which isn't to say that I don't choose sides now and then — I do — but so few of the "canned options" I am served up feel like a good fit... so often the "side" I choose to take is simply to opt out.
Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week!
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Created at 20210407 23:59 PDT