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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Dichotomies are killing us

I'm just going to come out and say it: there are more options for faith than fundementalist or atheist. Gay or straight. Healthy or not. Smart or not. Democrat or Republican. Good or bad. Rich or poor. Normal or damaged.

I try to avoid news, because it's depressing, slanted, sensationalistic and whatever else, but it seems like everything everywhere is telling me that there's only two options for everything. Either you're all the way on one side, or you're all the way on the other, and that's just stupid. It sets up an antagonism that doesn't need to be there, and makes everyone feel like they have to strive to be one side or the other, when the better option is usually closer to the middle.

I hate to tell the One-Option-Only-ists, but there's middle-of-the-road Christianity, and there's Agnosticism, and there's any number of other choices between fundie and atheist. There are people who sometimes fall for the opposite of their usual orientation, and people who have no preference, and people who have specific requirements for attraction that don't depend on gender. There are people who are works in progress, and health, especially, is a constantly-moving target, something always in flux. There are people who are very smart in one way and not at all in another, and there are people who know a lot and test poorly, and people who have other scales entirely that they value. There are political affiliations that aren't the Two Big Parties, and that's what it's supposed to be like. There are people who strive to be better than they are, and those who don't know yet that they can be, and those who consider themselves very ethical inside their particular worlds, regardless of how the rest of society sees them. There are still middle class people out there, and people who don't buy into the class thing at all, and people who are on their way up or down, and people who don't really care one way or the other.

And there is no such thing as Normal. It's a false ideal.

The point is that people trying to fit one side or the other, more often than anyone wants to believe, wind up lopping off or denying or hiding large portions of what matters to them and who they are, which destroys all attempts at personal authenticity and self-knowledge. In fact, it makes even attempting authenticity an issue and a struggle that keeps people from even trying.

Worse, it sets up a world where everyone is always at war and no one is trying to find peace, and that gets amplified into a culture that butts heads with everyone and can't meet in the middle, into a culture where people never learn to get along with others, where children grow up radiacals and reinforce the separation that isn't necessary and is actually damaging everything.

I'm doing my best to stay in the gray areas in between.

How about you?

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