January 6, 2023- The tall, disheveled man made his way down the middle of the through lane, as I was driving from Zeke’s Eatin’ Place to Office Max. He was moving slowly, as if he was figuring out his next steps as he went along. I was able to get around him, safely, and proceeded to take care of my shredding errand.
The little incident brought to mind a trope from 2020: “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.” Obviously, the man mentioned above was standing for something-his perceived right to walk his own path. My mind wandered over to the spectacle of the election of a Speaker of the House of Representatives, which in times past has been a snoozefest. There was a time when the certification of electoral votes for President was also a cure for insomnia. Watching golf on TV was like storm chasing, by comparison. Now, where one stands on these issues can make or break friendships.
“Question Authority” was the watchphrase of the 1960s and ’70s, making a comeback in 2001, and even more so since 2016. Now, I am not exactly middle of the road, when it comes to the Rights of the Human. People deserve to be raised to make their own decisions, weighing consequences and accepting responsibilities, in an age-appropriate manner. They deserve to be able to speak their peace. Women deserve to walk beside men, not behind us.
There are certain beliefs that fit both Right and Left: Legislation should be specific, and relatively simple; the people’s money should be spent in a conscientious, prudent manner; respect for others should not depend on their position in society. There is tradition that is worthy of conservation; the same principle goes for nature, and the resources it provides. Colour, creed and national origin should not determine how a person is able to participate in society and its affairs.
The man mentioned above was able to complete his walkabout, going into the store of his choice and thus leaving the middle of the road. Each of us must do the same, in our own journeys of thought and action.