December 05, 2020

02

Lake Chicot 04 03/22/2015 Panorama — Canoe/Kayak Launch, Lake Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana
Preferences without expectations or demands
will go a long way toward peace, balance and harmony.

But.

This works only where there is
mutual respect for,
and commitment to,
the common good.

Where that is lacking,
that is where the police
and the military come in.

Everything depends upon
our ability to enforce compliance
to the agreements that hold us together.

Without the good faith participation of all
in the creation and maintenance
of an atmosphere/environment
that respects/honors the rights
of everyone to their rights to a life
they find to be pleasing--
without interfering with others' rights
to that kind of life for themselves--
it all goes to hell in short order.

We owe it to each other
to care about the good of the other
as much as we care about our own good.

That is the basis of our life together.

–0–

01

Wild Goose Island 09/24/2006 — St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
People group together
around their ideas 
of how things ought to be.
Which is how they wish they were.
Which has a somewhat tangential 
relationship with how things are.

The more people in the group,
the less agreement there is 
about pretty much everything.
Unless the group doesn't allow disagreement,
or questions,
or variations from the authority
of those in control of the group.

Insisting that everyone see things
like the leaders see things
is the grounding agreement
for peace and harmony.
The moment different opinions
and points of view are permitted,
it all goes to hell in a hurry.

Democracy is doomed from the start.
"Okay, we can all be free to live 
our own life with the same rights
and privileges as everyone else,
but we all have to agree 
that the majority rules."

And then we get Trump and the GOP
suing to have an election overturned
where the majority (by 7 million votes)
voted him out of office.

How are we going to make this work?

"Good fences make good neighbors,"
said Robert Frost.
What I do on my side of the fence
is my business,
and what you do on your side of the fence
is your business.
I won't mess with your life,
and you don't mess with mine.

That would work except for the color 
of my skin,
or my preference for a life partner,
or my right to have an abortion,
then somehow my business
becomes your business.
How does that happen?
I'm on my side of the fence.
What are you doing in my back yard?
In my bedroom?
How did my business become your business?

How is it that I cannot trust you
to abide by our common agreements?

Freedom of religion
means I am free from your religion.
So, keep your religion to yourself
on your side of the fence!

We can live together
only if you stay on your side of the fence!
When people in democracy
keep trying to impose their ideas
of how other people ought to live their life
on other people.
there is no democracy.

Democracy respects lines separating 
people and their business
from other people and their business--
and requires everyone to mind their own business.

Sounds simple enough.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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