Friday, April 24, 2009

I am the sum total of my parts~~~

The sum total of the parts....once upon a time I heard that; I can't remember in what context I heard it. It may have been biblical; it sounds like something the Apostle Paul would have said. I will look it up later, but at the is relevant to me in a non-spiritual way, regardless of who said it originally. I am the sum total of all my parts.....I am not the total of one of my parts.....!

There is a polarization taking place in our country. A lack of discussion is leading to an "us vs them" mentality; this "don't discuss politics and religion" attitude which has overtaken our society has led to a place where we don't know the political views of our neighbors. We have a neighbor who's putting in solar heating panels, fake fireplaces and takes recycling to what could be considered an we assume that neighbor is a left leaning Democrat of no religious persuasion? Or we have a neighbor whose family attends church every time the doors are open, do we assume that they are a far right Republican with no care for the environment, a homophobe, someone who wants to completely outlaw abortion?

Consider the Internet....its an inpersonal medium for the most part. We make up screen names and give only as much information in our profiles as we feel comfortable with. This polarization is most evident a seemingly pro- Bush statement on a message board and you are immediately accused of being a racist, rich, redneck who drives a gas guzzling SUV and is so greedy that you want to do away with Social Security, Medicare/caid, food stamps, welfare, access to health care etc.....while the truth may be that you are very green, give hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a charity each year, sponsor a foreign child, volunteer to teach English to an immigrant.....etc.

The mass media feeds this polarization. It achieves their end, which is to gain and keep political power for their chosen party. Our politicians and our media spin every single word to take advantage of this polarization...the Republicans want to destroy Social Security while the Dems want to save it; the Dems want to save the environment while the Republicans want to destroy it by drilling for oil here. The politicians and the media know that we don't really discuss these things anymore. In our busy busy lives, we don't have time to look beyond the statements that are deliberately and with much forethought put out there for us to see.

We are all the sum total of our parts.....any bill brought before the house and the senate is the sum total of its parts.....and the soundbites we get from those who make these bills law are designed to disguise the parts so you assume the total.

Americans are getting rather good at assuming the total....the recycling neighbor is a Democrat while the church attending neighbor is a Republican.... right? The person driving that gas guzzling SUV must have voted for McCain and not Obama.....right? Only if you assume the total without adding up the parts.........

My fear is that if we don't start looking behind the soundbites of politicians and media folk - if we don't start discussing our beliefs politely and respectfully - if we continue to assume that one party holds the moral high ground while the other does not - we will all wake up one day to an America that is no longer the sum total of its parts.....

This is a house blog...I've been slipping into a more political frame of mind lately and even created a blog to handle that part of my total.......this will be the last full post on this blog that doesn't deal with the farmhouse......if you are interested in my political ramblings....tune in for Part II of the "I am the sum total of my parts" tomorrow on my Political Vigilance blog (link at your left)......

now, back to the 1909 Farmhouse.............

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