On a Clear Night

January 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm (Uncategorized)

All packed up and ready to rock and roll over to Moscow in a few hours for the night ride over with James. We’d probably have left earlier, but he has a gig until 9:30–definitely what you would call a whirlwind trip with us coming back Monday.

Artist of the day (maybe last couple days): Missy Higgins.

I was thinking today about loyalty and what it means to be loyal to people, to your principles, to yourself. I would consider myself a pretty loyal person to my friends and acquaintances–I am the sort of person who is willing to go to the bat for just about anyone if I think they deserve it regardless of how well I know them.

As I see it, there are more or less two ways of dealing with people in this world: you can respect them until they give you a reason not to, or you can withhold your respect until they give you a reason for you to offer it. I would place myself in the former category, and I think it a better system, though I know plenty who would argue the latter. I think a lot of my worldview comes from how I was raised–my parents trusted me explicitly unless I gave them a reason not to, and the number of times I broke their trust was minimal. I know plenty of people whose parents, growing up, would put in place arbitrary rules regarding when they could do things, and how often, without any good reason. That isn’t to say I don’t think children need limits; they do. It’s simply a reflection that without an explanation of why something is required people have a tendency to see rules as infringements on their freedom.

You can extend that to a macro level as well–people need clear reasons why they need to wait to buy a gun, why they have to pay X amount of taxes, and why they can’t always do everything they want when they want to. Then people need to participate in democracy, and weigh in whether they think the restrictions are reasonable or not. That’s how it should work, anyway. It does not always.

There are plenty of other policy and procedural issues to tackle–gridlock, obstructionism, partisanship, etc, but a lack of a clear understanding of the facts certainly isn’t helping things along.

 

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” -John Adams

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