We must all become better listeners and learners
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
Each week, many of my readers pick up the paper wondering if I am going to be beating up the liberal administration in Washington or reminding the conservatives of our need to love and care for one another.
Many would say that this column is “mindless swill”. But no matter what your views are, whether you agree or disagree with this writer, our opinions are of no value unless we listen to the other view, assess the content, and then come to a conclusion. If we are close- minded about the other view, our progress is not just limited but completely blocked. Some conservatives would view welfare and related programs as nothing but give away dollars to those who are too lazy to be self sufficient. However, there is a real need to men, women and children, who, for whatever reason, are down on their luck or unable to care for themselves. The destruction of the welfare system, and resulting misuse and abuse is caused by unscrupulous users and apathetic politicians and bureaucrats who fail to police that which is under their jurisdiction, as well as our tendency to complain, but do nothing else.
Conversely, there are liberals who parade the downtrodden in front of us, berating us with pictures of maimed, mutilated, and/or starving homeless, so that emotions may override common sense. They contend that the conservative view is only self-gratification and self-enrichment and that conservatives have no heart or desire to help those in need. I’m reminded of church groups that continually wage battle instead of looking for the solution, service to God.
What we refuse to pursue is that “middle ground” where the needy are served and waste of dollars is minimized. This country produces so much food that lowered prices have caused the demise of some farmers and their farms, yet we can’t seem to get the food to the people who are hungry. We fill our landfills with enough material to build homes for all who need, yet never look back as long as the governing body and/or corporations prosper from the revenues, and we consumers have our trash picked up at the curb. Daily, trees with usable lumber are trimmed and/or destroyed so that our electricity and cable television is not interrupted, while at the same time, welfare reform puts more people out on the street, and the trees are taken to landfills.
The solution is that we must all give up some of that which we cherish. We must become listeners and learners of the other view; we must become lovers of each other and workers toward peace and harmony. We must shed greed, take on charity and reject self and instant gratification. Not only can we resolve national problems like welfare, budgets, tax cuts and social security, we can also resolve marital and family problems which create single parent homes and abandoned children. If we refuse to do it for the government, can’t we at least do it for the children?
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