Sunday, February 19, 2017

Today's MOZEN: Keeping It Simple

F LoBuono
Life is inherently chaotic, especially when one lives in one of the most competitive areas on the planet. With the flow of life AND information just getting more and more intense, the pace can be maddening! And, the older I get the more I crave a simple life, creating even more conflict between what I am and what I want to be - which is a human being at peace with himself and his surroundings. So, now, I have an intense desire to make things as uncomplicated as possible:

I don't want to commute to NYC anymore.

I detest paperwork.

I don't want to be cold ever again.

And, I don't want to get into endless arguments with people who have neither the inclination nor the ability to see things from a broad perspective. Anyway, it's arrogant to think that your powers of persuasion are considerable enough to change someone who's mind was made up a long time ago.

Still, I don't want to be a hermit (at least, I don't think so). I want to be engaged with what is happening around me. We are ALL responsible not for our own lives but of those around us. They have a word for that. It's called community.

And, I think that I may have found a way to achieve some semblance of peace.

When confronted with issues of such complexity that I couldn't possible know all the nuances of the situation, I break them down to their simplest elements.

For example, immigration is an intensely complex and, therefore, emotional issue. For nearly thirty years our government has attempted, unsuccessfully, to implement a comprehensive plan that deals with the security of our borders. About the only thing everyone agrees on is that it needs to get done. However, no one can seem to agree on exactly how. Now, President Trump has issued an Executive Order (subsequently struck down by the courts) that severely limits travel between seven predominantly Muslim countries. Millions have supported the President, siting his insistence that the order will increase National security. Many millions of others have decried it as both un-American and un-Constitutional, leaving a divided Nation.

I am not a Constitutional lawyer nor a political scientist. Because my expertise does not lie in either area, it is difficult (or, even unrealistic) to offer a truly informed opinion on the legality and practicality of issuing just such an order. What I can offer adheres to my new mantra: KIS, or, Keep It Simple. So, I look at it this way: I know exactly two people well enough to call friends who also happen to be Muslims. And, I've known both for a long time. One, a man, is a Turk. The other, a women, is a dreaded Iranian. Neither, to my knowledge, is particularly religious. Both have lived in this Country for a long time and speak PERFECT, if accented, English. Both are educated and professionally very successful. They are among the finest people that I know - thoughtful, kind, compassionate, considerate, and loyal Americans. In other words, they are exactly like us. WHY should I fear them? Why would I think that others from their respective countries would not be just like THEM instead of some kind of America-hating terrorists the current administration would have us believe they are? It's a glass half empty/full kind of thinking. Because of these people, I see their immigration as making the glass half full!

It really is that simple. Treat people as individuals, not as political pawns.  I can't/won't speak for others. I only know what I know - and, that is the Muslims I am friendly with are outstanding people. I have no reason to think that the others would not be just the same.

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