Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Team Edward/Team Jacob

Humans are funny. We like to "pick sides." We like to be on the winning side--unless there's a compelling underdog. This phenomenon transcends gender, age, generation, ethnicity, race and every other category you can think of. It is obvious in the most trivial things and in the life and death situations. And what's even more crazy, we get REALLY passionate about it. We make t-shirts (team Edward or team Jacob), shed tears, make signs (picture every rally, demonstration, etc.), riot (so many big cities after a major sporting event) and even take up arms. Why do we as humans do this?

I think it feels good to belong to something. It is good to be important and it is great to feel "right." It's also fun to be "in the know" and in the "in crowd." So when the Titans win the Super Bowl, I feel great because I've always been a fan and I feel like I am a part of their success (I'm not, by the way). When people join "Team Jacob" they publicly profess their opinions about a wildly successful story line. They proclaim that they would have chosen Jacob over Edward. This frames them as sympathizing with the tragic hero. The lovable underdog (pun intended) that has a seriously messed up problem with love.

Sometimes the side choosing is for a little more of a significant cause, like politics (I know, the significant tag is arguable). We have a passionate opinion about the right way to do something. We look for a leader to represent our opinion and then throw our support behind that leader. And we get pretty dang passionate about it. We forget that the other side is made up of fellow humans who have passionate opinions just like us. We forget that, ultimately, both sides are attempting to do what they feel is "right." We marginalize the human and push the opinion to the forefront. This makes it easy for us to justify our unacceptable actions as just the means to get our "right" point across.

What is my point? Simple, before you get so wrapped up in being right, don't forget that you are human and so is the other side. Be civil. Be compassionate (not just passionate). Be nice! Also, take a moment to think about your opinion. Is it really as important as your pending actions are going to paint it?

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