Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I refuse to choose.

As most of my friends will tell you, I am often indecisive. I prefer not to rock the boat and am usually pretty relaxed and comfortable with just going with the flow. I mean, really, what difference does it make in the grand scheme of things if we have Mexican or Italian for dinner. Really.

I have been known to procrastinate through indecision. I have probably made far more decisions through inaction than action. I'm not proud of that, but that's a fault of mine that I'll admit to as well.

But being indecisive is far different than refusing to choose.

Lately, particularly with the election year at hand, this has been weighing heavily on my heart and mind. I had a short conversation with my sister about it recently, and I mentioned it in comments on some other blogs. My issue is this: Why is it a conflict of interests to be in favor of "less government" and humane treatment of animals? Why is it against someone else's first amendment rights if I express mine by wearing a crucifix on a chain to a public school? Why should I have to choose between being "green" or pro-life?

As I've gone into a little bit before, I am Catholic and try to live my life with a Christian worldview. So, that's where I am coming from, though I have no doubt that this will apply to other worldviews as well.

I try to live by the adage that one should leave things as good as or better than he or she found them. (Granted, the state of my housekeeping rarely reflects that, but I'm working on it.) One way that I've been acting on that is by, frankly, doing some of my coworkers' recycling. It's kinda gross, but if I see someone's tossed a pop can in the trash (and it's still exposed -- I'm not dumpster diving yet), I'll pick it out & toss it in the recycling bin. When we had catering in last week, rather than throwing out all of the "disposable" containers & platters, I brought them home to rinse & freecycle. I'm starting a compost pile at the treeline of our property. And I am really trying to cut down my extended shower time.

... does that make me a tree-hugging hippie? Not really.

In addition to being a traditional employee, I am also a business owner. As such I believe capitalism, in general, is a good thing. Likewise, I disagree that having the government put its fingers in every orifice of our lives is a good thing. For example, I do not thing it's a good idea to socialize health care. I think that idea about a centralized medical database is something UGLY waiting to happen. (Have you ever been to the DMV? What makes anyone think that any other government run facility will run more smoothly?)

... does that make me corporate America? Hardly.

To carry on the previous example, I believe we need some kind of health care reform. I also believe businesses, big and small, need to take more responsibility for their actions. From simply recycling paper to using less by going "paperless" to using less energy, less water, to encouraging telecommuting when appropriate, etc. Meanwhile, there's the corporate social responsibilities. Some industries are addressing concerns on their own, without obligation to government; take for instance the diamond industry's Kimberly Process. The Fair Trade movement, such as with Global Exchange, is addressing this -- slowly true, but without the government telling them to. I guess what I'm saying here is that I think we all have an obligation as consumers to express to companies that it's important to us that they act responsibly. And then put our money where our mouths are.

... I'm working on that.

I don't agree with the war in Iraq. But I think we have a responsibility to our troops, of course, not to be irresponsible about pulling out. Also, I think we have a responsibility to the citizens there, that we don't leave them high and dry now that we've "given" them democracy a representational government.

...does that mean I'm pro-war? pro-big-military? ... or pro-peace?

I've seen those bumper stickers that say "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" They make me angry, as if it's that simple. Do those same people sporting that bumper sticker think we should have just let Hitler run his course? Of course, that's the extreme, but still, it's frustrating. And I'm rambling.

I have been doing more of that in this post than I had intended, and it's gotten kinda long, but I'm still not quite ready to call it quits...

Because I still haven't gotten into my pro-life feminism (at least not in this post), carnivorously humane treatment of animals, or patriotism for a wonderful nation that needs a lot of work.

But it's past my bedtime & I have work to do yet, so I'll shut up for now while hoping that someday there'll be a presidential candidate I'll feel truly comfortable voting for.

PS - This is the article that got me riled up earlier today. And this (below) is the video that gave me chills.


Chucka Stone Designs said...

I once worked for an IT department in a Healthcare organization and it was right when the HIPAA (Healthcare Information Portability Accountability Act) movement was starting to swing into action. After seeing how many people broke so many "little tiny" rules everyday (like sharing passwords to log into the system) & how much patient information was compromised because of that (say a Lab manager shared with a tech, the tech should not have the same level of access & could see things they should not) I am in complete agreement with you on the centralized database - BAD, BAD, BAD!!!

Although I have personally chosen a candidate and feel differently on many of the issues you have raised here I think that is the beauty of the nation we live in, the power to voice our own unique, sometimes different, opinions. Whether the govenment, powers that be or even each other really listen to hear them, we at the least have expressed our own thoughts and feelings freely and openly. We should feel no guilt or remorse for doing it.

I also agree whole heartedly that our nation needs to be worked on but I don't believe it starts with the govenment to effect that change, it starts with the people and only when the people of the nation come together to that common purpose, regardless of barriers they feel exist (race, gender, religious background, etc), will that change take place. It has to start with ourselves.

You have started that change in yourself already by stating a willingness to work on it, sharing your thoughts here and for that I truly applaud you.

Thanks for so many links to additional information, will definitely look into all of those today!

be_brilliant said...

thanks for stopping by anyhow. If you click on my web page on my profile it will bring you to my youtube. It's like the second one. I like this blog, you have some very interesting thoughts....roll with them!

Brandon said...

What a great write up.


Chucka Stone Designs said...


how was your concert going experience? Dying to hear your take on the crazy love fest those guys have rolling across the country right now :)

Ginger said...

you don't have to choose julie. throw the labels out...that's all they are ~ labels.

the only reason people fit into the cliche definitions of a certain clique is because they've been told that's what they must be and to color outside the lines is bad. they are conformists.

do it all....leave the limitations to the unadventurous.