I once heard a radio talk show host say that there’s an expression in Texas that the only things in the middle of the road are painted lines and dead armadillos. The point was that straddling the middle between two perspectives is weak… or even deadly. Take a position, he urged.
But by the same token, it feels as though we are increasingly losing our ability to see both sides of an issue with some measure of civility. Compromise is viewed as weakness. And holding to your side’s position with vigor, passion and intensity is an approach wildly in favor right now. The outcome of debate and discourse is framed in the language of sports… or war. You win. You crush your opponent. What about persuading? What about motivating? What about inspiring?
As we head toward the Fourth of July and celebrate all that’s wonderful about the U.S., most especially freedom and the high cost some have paid to achieve and preserve it, I hope we can find it in our hearts to consider coming together. In the middle. Where the armadillos are.