Life at the poles

Think North pole and you might visualize something like this picture. But there are other concepts that draw from the idea of two poles. Politically the US government is built on a two party system versus a more common Parliamentary approach in the rest of the world. As a result, American culture is constantly divided between Dems and Republicans and all the debates our system of free press brings along. It also results in one party always portrayed as the one “in control” or dominating the other.

I’ve come to see a spill over effect into broader American culture that if we’re not careful can lead to some personally wonky ideas and biases. It’s as if life is broadly distilled into two camps as if no moderation or middle ground or alternatives exist. I remember when we moved to Alabama several years ago and people would ask us if we were going to pull for Auburn or Alabama. I’m a Gator fan, so we’d politely say we were not pulling for either one and you’d think I had two heads. To many, there are only two choices in football life, and any other choice just doesn’t make sense.

Just to be clear, I’m NOT talking about principles of right and wrong and it should be clearly understood that there is a right and a wrong way with certain truths. However, a major problem I see often is not realizing that an opinion is an opinion, not a matter of right and wrong, but then pressing or enforcing the opinion as if it was. This can have dramatic impact on relationships either casual or deep, on personal practices of moderation, on how I go about life in a broad range of areas.

Life is not often lived at the poles. Most of our time is spent walking around and bumping into others along the equator. We need a good compass and wise judgment to know where we are geographically (in a metaphorical sense) and how to live a healthy, happy, and good life.

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About Steve Ledford
Christian, husband, father, businessman, engineer, and all around regular guy. I have travelled some uncommon paths in life. Over the course of time I have found that truth is always simple, without exception. My life's purpose is to find it, live it, and speak it.

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