A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Living and Working With Differences

Being 'different' is, well, just that. Not better, not worser, just different. (And, yes, Rainy Day knows there is no such word as 'worser' but she likes it, so there!)

Several things came across Rainy Day's computer screen in the last few months stating, usually in a humorous way, that Democrats and Republicans are different (well, shut the front door!). These emails stated the differences were in the brain, but none of them cited reputable sources. Rainy Day smiled, shared a few and then forgot about them.

The other night, Rainy Day was watching one of her favorite commentators who mentioned studies showing the differences in the brain. Hmmmmmm. And then Rainy Day saw Don Lemon talk with a psychologist Dr. Wendy Lee Walsh and she mentioned studies showing differences in the amygdalas of Conservatives and Liberals. So, Rainy Day went to her BFF Google, and googled "amygdalas and conservatives v. liberals" and was surprised at the number of pages that came up. Bazillions.

And the number of scientific papers, complete with citations. She read a few, and settled on the one at ProCon.org because it shows all the citations which were peer-reviewed studies that do, indeed, show liberals and conservatives are physiologically different one from the other. All this time, Rainy Day believed if your family was conservative, you would be too – that it was more a cultural thing.

ProCon lists 16 differences on their page and gives a summary of each, with all the peer-reviewed studies on the subject they could find. If you know of more, they would like you to tell them.

Conservatives and Liberals are different, and it's apparently hardwired. Knowing that, and knowing the hows and the whys, maybe, just maybe, armed with that knowledge, and a willingness to accept the differences, we can stop trying to convert each other, and instead try to find common ground.

One ground we hold in common is we all love this Country. We should also all love and respect each other, even though we're 'different' one from the other. A good way to begin is to trust that we both want what is best, to respect each other and each other's rights and opinions even though we may disagree. And, as Robert Fulgum taught us in his book, All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, hold hands and look both ways before crossing the street. And share your cookies;-)

Rainy Day spent time in the Military, and on four separate occasions she raised her right hand and gave an oath to die, if need be, to defend our Constitution. She took that oath very seriously. Although no longer in the military, she holds the words of Voltaire close to her heart and tries to live by them, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

In Rainy Day's church, a song is sung as the children leave the sanctuary to go to Sunday School – Go Now In Peace:

Go now in peace
Go now in peace
May the Spirit of Love surround you
Everywhere, everywhere
You may go.

Rainy Day asks you to take her hand, and the hand of your neighbor (literally or virtually), and go now in peace, look both ways before crossing the street, and let's laugh and play, and work together for the good of all. (Remember, it's a small planet, and we got nowhere else to go!)

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