samedi, septembre 13, 2008

Sharing a story

I'v e been reading some web articles and books and scriptures on forgiveness. One of the assertions made by Dr. Sondra Wheeler has stuck with me. In her book "What We were Made For" Christian Reflections on Love," Wheeler asserts that in helping to reconcile a marriage that has come apart, it's essential that partners help create a common story. Only when they can see that the other, the person they may consider an adversary, also has reasons for doing what he or she did, can they forgive each other. He or she behaved badly. Perhaps you also did? This theme, that of creating a common story, is a fascinating overlay to this fall's Presidential election. If we don't have, or can't make a common story, then we automatically have a tough time trusting each other. Obama and McCain and Palin (where is Biden?) keep trying to reach us with their story-trying to bring us into it so that we make it our story too. Making up after arguments would be so much simpler if we could just leap into empathy. But it takes passion-and hard work. Then, of course you really have to want to create a common story with someone with whom you may vehemently disagree-perhaps it's easier to go your own way. But I don't believe that we can get too far as a country unless we sit down and tell each other our stories-with the empathy to believe that his or hers is as compelling as is ours.

jeudi, septembre 11, 2008

Caveat: don't treat her like a "girl"

That doesn't mean Governor Palin should get a free pass on answering questions. Here are a few:

What did happen with that "bridge to nowhere?"

Why did you bill taxpayers for your nights at home?

Why didn't you use the offical government email and copy official emails to your husband?

You have to admit that the McCain strategy is brilliant. Don't have her give interviews. Blame the media for asking questions. Blame the Obama campaign for using an innocous expression, because it stirs up your parochial base. THEN blame the media again when they start digging and actually find something.

The sad thing is that this strategy works. And it works, in part, because the McCain campaign is treating a strong, outspoken, self-confident woman like she's a little girl.

This blame game behavior is galling, but in a year when there are milllions of disenchanted blue collar voters out there who saw Hillary Clinton as their voice and Barack Obama as part of the elite, it might work.

mercredi, septembre 10, 2008

What happened to the truth?

It makes me nuts when someone says Barack Obama is a Muslim. Those emails flying around are just the poisonous icing on a cake of fertilizer known as racism.

That being said, Sarah Palin is arousing naked fear on the part of many liberals. She's going to ban books! She's going to bring a gun to work in the VP's office! She's going to take away our precious right to abort our fetuses/unborn children/above my pay grade!

Do I think she's got the qualifications to be Vice President? Heck, no. Do I think she's a villainess out of central casting? How kindergarten can you get?

Linked above is an article from Newsweek that examines many of the claims being made about Palin. Send it on to your outraged liberal friends.

There's so many real things to be upset about in this election. Again and again, the truth has been forgotten because the lies are so much more seductive.

The fact is that the more we indulge, on both sides, in stupid gossip, the less emotional energy there is to focus on what really matters. Haven't we learned that electing someone as President isn't a personality contest?

Perhaps we could graduate-to first grade, anyhow.

mardi, septembre 09, 2008

The custody game

I have been up to my ears in books on co-parenting.

Mostly, these are tomes that try to get it through the thick skulls of divorcing parents how bad parental conflict is for kids.

The second point they make, over and over again, is that children need both parents. I wonder why so many men abdicate their role as full time dads. That is something I have yet to grasp.

Yet I am bugged also by the notion that many women are so scared of allowing their ex to have an equal voice in decisions that affect their kids. Admittedly, there are times when I think I am more nurturing, emotionally connected, intuitive about what my children need. But I also know that their dad brings positive qualities to the table that I can't give on my best days.

I guess that the class, which begins in October, will give Dave and me more clues as to what's going on with fathers. But what about the moms? Ladies, what are you afraid of? Or is this just plain old selfishness, fear, and vengeance?

Gosh, it's a good thing I'm not teaching a class for women!