Friday, August 30, 2013

A Vacation From Politics

Ok, so, at the end of the last few posts my bleeding heart might have shown a bit.  Whoops!

This might be a good time to make clear that I don't in any way want this blog to become political.  I have plenty of other contexts for discussing politics and policy issues.  That is not the intended focus of this blog

Social justice is actually extremely important to me, and that alone is a great rationale for embracing voluntary simplicity.  But there are also plenty of other rationales that have nothing to do with social justice.  If your interest in voluntary simplicity is rooted in one of those other rationales, I don't want you to be deterred by a perception that this is a political blog.  It is not, so keep reading.

One reason this will not become a political blog is that partisanship often gets in the way of the greater good and needlessly tears people apart.  It often creates divisions that were not there previously and/or accentuates differences to divide people who otherwise have much in common.  In short, partisanship is the antithesis of community, while one aspect of voluntary simplicity that appeals to me is that it promotes community.  When we slow down and eschew all the modern busyness, we focus on building relationships and helping others.

For a variety of reasons, voluntary simplicity is something that appeals to many Americans regardless of our political affiliations.  More on that later in future posts.  But until then, please recognize that voluntary simplicity is not a red thing or a blue thing.  There are Libertarians, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, Green Partiers and unregistered voters--among others--who are drawn to the values of voluntary simplicity.  People from many different backgrounds, embracing many different worldviews are dissatisfied with the superficial, materialistic rat race that has become our modern culture.  I aspire that this blog will be a place where anyone and everyone who similarly experiences such dissatisfaction can find a bit of rest for tired bones and a weary soul.

Though I don't want this blog to be political, and I'd like to have as inclusive an approach to this topic as possible, please be aware that my own political orientation is going to creep in at times.  That is inevitable.  That is part of who I am.  But my promise to you the reader is that I'll try to keep the political references to a minimum.  I'll include them only when they are important to something I'm trying to describe or express.

And any such political references will not be included in an effort to push a particular political agenda.  I myself respect and even relish that we may come from different political backgrounds.  One thing I love in life is when people who are so incredibly different actually take time to listen to one another and come to realize they really have much in common.

Simultaneously, I encourage readers to be truly open-minded when they see a political reference.  Don't write me off just because you realize we vote for different candidates.  Keep reading.  Look for the common ground. 

And there should be something for pretty much everyone.  Some people who know me well think I'm a flaming liberal, while others think I'm a corrupt conservative.  I guess it all comes down to your perspective.  Again, I encourage you to be open-minded and see through the sometimes artificial labels that modern politics uses to divide people.  Again, look for the common ground.

Believe me, I appreciate how challenging it is to be open-minded in this day and age.  In recent times, due to the options we have in where we live, as well as the media choices available, many of us opt to only listen to those who agree with our own beliefs and can help reinforce them.  This has been dubbed the "echo chamber effect."  But in truth, that approach is just a form of intellectual masturbation.  It is self-indulgent and pointless.  Further, it can be misinforming if we don't get all the facts or hear contra-arguments.  To really understand the world, we need to be exposed to different perspectives and do the hard work of discerning truth for ourselves.  The bottom line is that echo chambers waste time on many levels, and, as mentioned in prior posts, time is precious.

In closing for today, if you see something in this blog that sounds political or seems to espouse an idea with which you disagree, please stick with me.  Don't write me off.  Something attracted you to the topic of this blog.  Keep reading even if you don't agree with me 100%.  One more time: look for the common ground.

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