Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Allowances We Make

"Listen, I'm a politician, which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open."
Richard Jordan, as Dr. Jeffrey Pelt, in The Hunt for Red October

It's a perfectly human emotion to 'adjust' your public perception of someone if you happen to like them, or agree with their views, or need to be behind them to support your own sense of well-being.

Or is it?

I think we're all guilty of doing this at least sometime in our lives, whether it's our parents, our children, our co-workers, our best friends, or someone we love. There are intangibles at work that endear us, or obligate us to someone regardless of whatever underlying truth may exist about our reaction to that person's views or ideology.

This weekend's Club 20 debates are one of the most watched and attended political events of the election season here in Western Colorado. It will be interesting to see just how many educated people will actually be there agreeing with the notion that Laura Bradford can do a better job representing our needs in Denver than Bernie Buescher can.

I wish I could be there, but I'll be taking a page out of Julie Hinkson's book, which I learned about in today's excellent Sustainability column in the Sentinel:

"Although Julie realizes drying clothes outside saves a lot of energy, that is only part of the reason she made this choice.

With the clothesline erected a distance from the house, Julie feels like she is in her 'own little world' when she hangs out her laundry every Saturday morning. 'It’s a special state of mind.'

'It’s better than meditation because there is movement involved,' Julie said. Without spending a penny for the gym, you can lift heavy baskets, stretch and bend."

A clothesline is a wonderful thing. I don't have one, but I might think about it. This afternoon I am mowing my lawn and doing yard work. It's perhaps one of the ways I can start to dealing with the times I make allowances for myself, which I do whenever I don't eat right or get out for a walk when I should.

Those who make allowances for the inadequacies of others, whether out of love, loyalty, or blood, largely expect to receive some benefit, tangible or not, for doing so. It's human nature, or in some cases it can be God at work in their lives.

In politics, I'm not sure how much God is at work, no matter how many times that politicians may invoke Him when touting how they're better than their opponent. Earthly leadership is irrelevant in comparison to a personal relationship with God, and it's how one conducts his or her life on Earth that reveals the depth of that relationship to others.

As far as the human allowances that are made, it's sometimes difficult to find examples of how those allowances change, especially when they change over a short time frame. Sometimes it's easy when some new information is revealed about the true character of someone, i.e. John Edwards. I feel for the guy, but I feel more for his wife and family.

Other times you need a little help, like the kind that Jon Stewart provided on his show this past Wednesday. Enjoy:

Off to the yard. Have a great day.

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