Friday, August 2, 2013

PURPLE ME

I am proud to be PURPLE --- a swirling mixture of BLUE (holding positions that are perceived as quite progressive, liberal, on some social, religious, and political issues) and RED (embracing positions which are definitely NOT considered "liberal" or progressive by many). Actually, I believe that I am consistently progressive, as Dr. John McWhorter, a thinker and author whom I highly respect (but who is reviled by many on the left), sees his views; it's that the markers identifying the boundaries between "liberal" and "conservative" have been pushed erratically in different directions, so I find that it's difficult for me to place any one label on me or my views by today's standards.

I despise double standards. I hate sweeping generalizations about people. I question simplistic labeling of people and their views. My fellow progressives can be at least as guilty of these things as can be self-styled conservatives and libertarians  --- but I believe those things are wrong, no matter from which camp. 

Many people view the world through ONE prism --- race, sex, sexual orientation, politics, religion, or whatever --- and every single thing is judged by how closely it harmonizes with those people's position on that primary focus. I try not to do that. I try to keep a more balanced, open mind. I said, I TRY; I certainly don't always succeed.

A friend suggests that the definition of insanity is expecting reality and the world to adjust to one's desires and perceptions, rather than adjusting one's desires and perceptions to reality and the world. I would suggest that the definition of insanity as "repeating the same actions while expecting different results" still works for me, but I do think this new idea defines immaturity. By that standard, I am often very immature; I am very uncomfortable with many of the social, political, and religious positions closely held by others which contrast with my own, even though I try to remember that they have as much right to those opinions as I have to mine.

And I admit to certain prejudices, even though I believe that ALL prejudices are wrong --- including my own. While I don't think I have any racial or sexual prejudices, I admit to a strong religious one: Against the conservative evangelical/fundamentalist wing of Christendom. It annoys me just as much for non-Christians to believe that those people are representative of all Christians as does those people's self-image as being the only real, true Christians. I admit that I stumble and babble every time someone asks if I'm a Christian, because I'm sure that what is in their mind as "being a Christian" is something that I emphatically am NOT. See, there I go again...off on my anti-fundie rant.

I'm purple. I'm human. I'm not perfect. All I do know for sure is, I've got so many personal shortcomings and character defects that I really, really don't have the energy or time left to focus on yours. Oh, God help me!