Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Quick Take on Contentious Issues

It's easy to get wound-up. Whether it is because of Sumo wrestling costumes, or a lost remote control forcing you to endure an episode of Made on MTVGermany. The reaction is often the same in it's emotional character. This afternoon I wasn't interested in finding the channel-changing instrument, so much as cussing at the incomprehensibility of the follies faced by a young nerd who was just dying to be a hip hop dancer.

I'm not interested in dissecting this particular qualm du jour. I'm sure there will be another one in a week or two. Maybe that's the one I'll choose to get really fussed about. It's just that I'm pretty busy right now, what with Easter and quarterbacking my company to dominate the world of virtual training. As a result, I've sort of missed the boat. So many others have quipped adequately about the story. Ergo, I'll keep this brief.

I hate complacency, don't get me wrong. It's my most worthy adversary. I am an incredibly firm advocate of incremental change. I believe that we can always improve.

That being said, I also think it's important to reflect on how far we've come, if only to use it as inspiration to continue our fight forward. I know this is because I've had a wild perspective change. I'm no longer on a liberal university campus. I'm in a country that has NEVER had a gay pride parade. I'm in a part of the world where I see oppression against minority groups in ways unfathomable to those of you privileged enough to reside in the Western World. I'm in a country that is in the process of passing legislation to become more nationalistic. I live in a country that has a fledgling but powerful neo-nazi movement.

And yet I'm positive, there are places in the world that are much worse than where I now find myself, as far as human rights abuse goes.

I applaud and appreciate your pursuit of an apparently elusive equality. Just please remember, when cooped up in your bubble, that there is a whole world of anguish, hurt, and unjust treatment, out there. A world that knows nothing of the rights you lobby for. Keep marching forward, but every once in a while take a minute to look at how far we've come.

PS - Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. Easter traditions in Slovakia see men whipping women with bows of willow and splashing them with cold water. The women in return, have to provide money and cakes to the men, naturally. I'll report back Easter Monday with an eye-witness account, but I have every reason to believe that a squabble about fat suits will pale in comparison to the absurdities that will be on display.

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