I Stand

I noticed a column by one of my compatriots, blasting those of us who are moderates, as not caring enough to take a stand.  Unafraid, she has taken a solid stand and that’s admirable.  It is clear where she stands and clarity is good in communication.

I, on the other hand would make a poor politician or activist.  I guess I see too much of value from most every perspective.

I have always considered myself chameleon-like, able to adapt to people of every ilk, from the elite to the humble, finding worth in every soul.  If I had a little girl, yes, a girl, I would probably buy her the new “you can be anything” mermaid Barbie, that when dipped in water, changes color.

Those of us in the moderate middle have also taken a stand.  See, I took a stand in the last paragraph, stating that I would buy a Barbie for my little girl and probably wouldn’t buy one for my boy.

The concept of taking a stand originates with the military, holding their position against an enemy.  Make no mistake, there are enemies to the right and to the left of where I stand.

Extremes are the enemy of the moderate, who maintains a position of reasonable limits, resisting the extremes of both the right and the left.  We in the middle, have an ability to see the merit in points of view that reside all over the map.  We believe in pulling those worthy ideas, philosophies, theories, and actions into our stand.

We get stuff done through mitigation, restraint and control.  The ineluctable moderate is the only just winner in the battle between the extremes.

Bridge Over Troubled Water, the Simon & Garfunkel song from 1970(Paul Simon), comes to mind.  What would we do without bridges?  They connect us from one side of the gorge between us, to the other.  The moderate is that connection, that bridge.

I stand for equity, kindness, forthrightness, decency, intelligence, communication, humility, common sense, and all things leading to agreement.  I believe in standing up for the little guy, but I’m not afraid to stand up for someone powerful who needs another to come along side.

The things of common goodness which I was brought up admiring and aspiring to be, bring us from the far left and the far right into a place of compromise.  This is not a bad word.

My own husband used to dislike the word and concept behind compromise.  It sounded to him, as it likely does to some others, like giving up, giving in, or not taking a stand – a crouch perhaps, but not a stand.

I guess I was born a peacemaker.  Every disagreement must be moderated with give-and-take from each side, bringing them firmly into middle ground.   We are not a homogeneous culture, community, household, or partnership, and disagreements abound.

Compromise is not diluted commitment.  The thing that settles disagreements is give-and-take, diplomacy, communication, and yes, compromise.  As Ella Fitzgerald sang, you have to “give a little to get a little.”  She went on to croon, “no love, no hope…with love there’s hope.”

Jesus himself said that love covers sin.  He modeled the concept with the prostitute he met at a watering hole.  He conversed with her about not only physical water, but the metaphysical kind: living water, or love.  Others ridiculed and judged the woman for her lifestyle, but Jesus covered her, with love, forgiveness and compromise, “go and sin no more,” he said.

There are two sides to every coin, but one coin.  There are two sides to every argument, with the goal being agreement.  There are two people in a marriage, making one union.  A collective of trees makes a forest.

I recently dreamt of the 1986 Culture Club (Boy George) song, Karma Chameleon which totally portrays the chameleon as a wishy-washy uncommitted creature which takes no stand.  Was the dream defensive for my chameleonic personality?  Or is it just a reaction to very self-assured activists, critical of us chameleons of the 1960s “make love not war” flavor, who don’t join their fight?

My perspective about chameleons is that they change colors in order to adapt to an ever-changing environment.  First one color then another is a form of assimilation, accommodation, and adaptation – all survival mechanisms.  Back to the military, we must “adapt and overcome” or face sure defeat.

I don’t take a knee.  I don’t bow.  I don’t crouch or curtsy.  I stand, probably for you, and you, and you.

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