Monday, June 20, 2016


Well, the Junior Son and family are now fully ensconced in their new digs. Mrs. Junior Son is back from a graduate school field trip to Stockholm. Little Miss has discovered the ongoing excitement of having her own personal swing, and Bialy, the hyperactive GSP, is loving the ginormous back yard. And I got to mow a little this week, so I'm happy. There ain't nothin' like a few turns around the yard on the tractor. 

I also got a call on Friday that the Rx-7 is up and running. At some point, I will go over to drive it; then I will be able to step away for good. 

Father's Day was, admittedly, tougher than I anticipated. This was the first one without my own dad. Although there was no mad scramble for the annual Father's Day poem, I must confess, I sat at my desk thinking about all the things I could've or might've or should've said. I was missing more the unstoppable guy and not the guy who was fading away last year. It wasn't as if I loved him any less because he'd stopped being the force of nature he had been, but I realize the camaraderie is what I missed most.  Oddly, my guys having already gone through this, were no help whatsoever. 

So why am I writing about this? 

Because this is real life. These are the gains and losses, and not all are measured in terms of money or property. Real life is about the people with whom we associate, and those choices we make in those associations. We can choose to include, or we can choose to exclude. Conversation becomes overly dull with a single cast of characters, so we invite new people to the table, to the event, to the....whatever. We tell ourselves we are open minded, open hearted, open mouthed. 


We yammer constantly about diversity and inclusion, but do we know what it means? I'm not so sure. 

Let's begin with a definition from Merriam Webster:

Full Definition of diversityplural diversities
 1:  the condition of having or being composed of differing elements :  variety; especially :  the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization <programs intended to promote diversity in schools>
  an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities :  an instance of being diverse <a diversity of opinion>

Nowhere in that definition does it say anything about race, creed, political persuasion, or sexual orientation. It says, "different types." Homogeneity is the enemy of diversity. The goal of diversity is to have lots of ideas, lots of elements, lots of other thoughts going around. This is the stuff that makes for invention, for development, for interesting conversation, for learning, for growing, for everything except being the same. 

Diversity is exactly what it says it is. Different people sharing different ideas. Spouting different philosophies. Debating and discussing. Anything else is boring. 

If you decide to accept diversity as what it's supposed to be, it means you're going to stop throwing brickbats at people. You're going to be more willing to listen, to understand, and perhaps even to grow intellectually. Most of all, you will be exposed to something other than the noise between your own ears. 

We read Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat...all sorts of media that brings up instant news all too often tailored to our own tastes by some algorithm that shows us what we want to see, not what we should see. We are becoming the humans of WALL-E, confined to our recliners watching only what we want to see. 

That is not how real-life should be. Homogenization is for milk. Homogenized society is a doomed society. It will stagnate and die. And it's boring. 

Personally, I'm sick of boring. I want to hear what the opposition has to say. I want to understand why some people think Trump is presidential material. I want to listen to someone better explain how jihadism isn't representative of all Islam. This doesn't mean I'm going to become a Republican or join a mosque. It means there are lessons to be learned from any position and/or opinion. 

So here's the deal: if the places you go are only interested in promulgating the same stuff over and over, move quickly to the nearest exit and get out. Your brains are in imminent danger of becoming mush. 

Instead, find someplace where people talk, a place were ideas run wild but browbeating, bullying, or marginalizing are verboten. Learn to stand your own ground in a debate, but learn to listen. Knowledge is not dangerous, but ignorance is. That's the most dangerous part of all. 

If America is to be the Land of the Free, if we are to preserve the Bill of Rights, we need to hear it all. Hearing is not agreeing, and agreeing is not required. Exercise your right of free assembly. Exercise your right of free speech. And most of all exercise your freedom to think for yourself. 

And then, on the first Tuesday of November, try to remember this is a democracy. G-d willing, it will stay that way.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Buy only local strawberries. 
The ones from far away have no flavor whatsoever. 

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