Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As a Cold War child, I rebelled against the Black and White world that shaped Baby Boomers’ attitudes and thinking. "Either-Or" thinking has its merits and ardent proponents, to be sure. I do see how some issues require such approach. Some of you no doubt feel that ALL issues are “Black and White.” Well, going against this attitude shaped my world view, OK?

Each generation seems to have its strengths and weaknesses; the latter seem to serve as a launching pad for the next generation’s theme. It seems that the world Baby Boomers have created has resulted in significant conflict and polarization. Our country is paralyzed by extreme ideologies (Democrats vs. Republicans) and my home state (Utah) is split right down the middle into Mormons and Non-Mormons, a condition that colors practically all discourse and social interaction.

No matter what profession we examine, we are likely to find “Left-Right” divides. Discourse at all levels consists of extreme views pitting each other with the final outcome resulting in a winner and a loser. Think of our legal system: “guilty or not guilty.” While some issues are indeed that clear-cut, there are many situations, especially civil cases, where compromises may be more satisfactory.

Fortunately, Baby Boomers' Black and White thinking has influenced our youth to be more conciliatory and cooperative. Instead of aggressive competition, our youth seems more interested in consensus building after considering all viewpoints as equally meritorious. In my opinion, this is more in keeping with ancient wisdom recorded in practically all cultures. For instance, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Christ were fond of the MIDDLE WAY.[1] Philosophers like Kierkegaard and writers like Shakespeare have entertained us with tales of paradox and balancing extremes. In my own feeble attempt, I have submitted a novel, THE FENCE; it is the allegory of a boy living on a fence and meeting people/animals on both sides.

These are some of the thoughts I had when I watched the Movie MEGAMIND (you may need to borrow a little kid to go watch it.) MEGAMIND deals with Good and Evil in a way I feel is refreshing and thought-provoking. Good and Evil may be found in everyone, even in Superheroes (shocking words for those who are sure to skip Harry Potter this weekend on the grounds that it deals with Evil wizards...)

Remember the prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ, WICKED? Well, it has the same message.

Maybe I was born at the wrong time….


Sure, fundamentalists will argue that Christ was the Master of Black-White issues; I respectfully disagree.


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