Today I would like to address the issue of picking sides. Do I have to? Cant I be Switzerland?
I'm not sure why this has frustrated me lately. But it began with the whole Mac vs. PC debate. It seemed that you would get into a conversation with someone, the topic of computers would surface, and all of the sudden you found yourself defending the fact that you own a PC instead of a Mac. I probably take it personally because the computer is like a member of the family. Not only would I find myself under attack but being belittled because I chose a PC. There is no middle ground. You must pick a side. Why? I love my PC, but I also love Macs, if I could afford one. They are both awesome for different reasons.
Another debate I find myself forced into the the Canon vs. Nikon debate. Seriously? They are both superior in the DSLR industry. I bought a Canon because at the time, I felt that I could get the best bang for my buck. I've been 100% pleased with the quality produced from my camera. I have no complaints about the product (don't ask me about their customer service, and I'm sure there are people out there just as dissatisfied with Nikon's CS). These two play cat and mouse and you cant go wrong either way. There is no middle ground and once again, you must pick a side.
Then there is the much larger issue of politics. I find myself torn here as well. I feel like I'm attacked all the time with little darts tossed at me. Defending what and why I feel the way I do. Especially in this time of governmental unrest and distrust, I feel that it's important to make educated decisions about the issues individually and not just to pick a side (a party) and follow them blindly. I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat, but I'm a citizen of this country and believe in defending my rights.
For example, people assume because I feel strongly that I have the right to bear arms, I must be a crazy gun-toting dangerous Republican freak. A classic example of this dynamic was when the Democratic Congresswoman in Arizona was shot, and before anyone had specific information about what happened, there were posts on facebook and twitter and all over about this person who shot her and how he must be a crazy right-winged nut and how guns must be outlawed (by the way, the guy ended up just being a whack job with views all over the board, not the type of law-abiding citizen that would obey a gun law in the first place). Using a tragedy to force an agenda is wrong in every way, but I see it being done more and more. Why are some so quick to put people on a "side"? So they can pounce? So the have further justification to hate the other side?
The reason I'm addressing this tendency to force others to "pick a side" or to put others in a specific category is because I see the hatred that is beginning to form. It wasn't like this when I was younger. You could have opinions about things and others wouldn't agree, but you could discuss things and become educated on others views. Now, there is instant and apparent hatred and walls put up. No one wants to listen to anyone from the other side. It reminds me of the Civil War in America, where they had to pick a side and sometimes it meant fighting to the death against your own family and friends. It really scares me, the hatred that is out there. Whether it is hating "team Jacob" or the fans of an opposing sports team, it's not acceptable on any level. Is society given too many liberties and is mankind so bored that hatred is the outlet?
Please don't make me pick a side. I love the beautiful patchwork quilt of this world. If it were all one color and pattern, it wouldn't be beautiful.