Our dog Hennessy loves to play tug-of-war.
Oh my gosh! It’s so fun. Not only does she love the action of pulling and tugging on a favorite chew toy, but she will also come up to me with her toy or ball or rope and actually hand it (or err - jaw it) over to me so we can play the game.
So, you see it isn’t that she just wants that toy in her possession. If that were the case she would just take the toy and saunter over to her bed and hang with it. No, she brings it over to me so I’ll grab it too and play some intense game of tug of war.
It’s competitive, it’s polarizing and yet it’s a game and it’s fun.
- Kind of like life.
- Kind of like the tug-of-war games played on grammar school playgrounds.
- Kind of like how we humans enjoy a good push-and-pull conversation with those who hold a different point of view.
Was there a time when two people could hold different points of view, and hold a intriguing, investigative and yes constructive conversation?
If it were ever true before, it appears that is not the case any longer.
Whatever happened to the US of A and the freedom of expression that paved the way for respectful dialogue, energizing debate and healthy conversations, made enlightening because of the variety of opinion? Conversations, especially those witnessed in politics and on our highly charged social media, have become grounds for anger, division, attack and even violence.
Anything but fun.
Anything but engaging.
And, may I propose, anything but American.
Besides a handful of moderate voices who fairly observe and critique all parties, we now have a left and a right that balance out their collective time in two ways:
1. Glorifying their own viewpoints and constituents.
2. Pointing fingers at the lunacy of the other side.
What happened to the game?
The push and the pull.
The two sides that could refine their own views, strengthen their own reasoning, and open their own minds through the vehicle of discourse and dialogue.
Is it not OK to have opposing viewpoints, especially in this Constitutional Republic of ours, which propels us forward through the freedom of thought and expression?
On a higher level, do we think we were plopped into the world of duality to have the same beliefs, filters, and thoughts as everyone else? Would you even want that? What would we talk about?
What a boring life it would be if we all saw things the same way.
It would be like living in an echo chamber of our own thoughts.
Like a bad movie that held no opposing forces.
Like a tennis match without an opponent.
It would be like having a chew toy and no one to hand it over to so we could play a gun game of tug-of-war.
James Anthony Ellis is a writer living in San Diego, who even enjoys debating the various sides of himself. He can be found at www.LegacyProductions.org.