Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What Do I Have to Offer?

     This is a very BIG and I think important question: Offer what, where, when, and for how long?  We all have different skill sets, expertise, interests,resources, and availability.  I have a sprinkling of each of these but what I bring to this blog is an uncommon perspective. Please note I said "uncommon" but not special, because I'm just like everyone else doing the best they can with their given set of circumstances, gifts, and limitations.

      I worked as a janitor during high school and early college.  Then I "worked my way up" to assisting the pathologist in Camden, NJ as he did autopsies.  With that expertise and a BS in biology, I met the qualifications to become a bartender in Yellowstone and then a ski bum in Aspen, Colorado (and that is definitely another story).  I actually returned to school for another two years, and became a Physician's Assistant, which I did for thirty plus years.  I became a husband after leaving the ski slopes, then a father, volunteer community mediator for a few years, contractor, and through it all have been somewhat of a word-smith and musician.  So, in spite of the fact I have no expertise, except for that of a medical provider, I do have a somewhat unique perspective on life.  After all, I've met and developed relationships with more than 50,000 people - some short-lived and some life-long.  I've worked with the homeless, the hard-working, the poor in places like Ethiopia and Honduras, and the ultra-wealthy in Aspen and Lake Placid.  I've met lots of different kinds of people and even a few odd ducks.

     None of this makes me any smarter or wiser than anyone else, but I do believe what we've experienced colors our perspective.  I've done short-term work in both Vietnamese and Nicaraguan refugee camps during their respective wars.  That does not make me an expert on anything, but deepens the well from which I draw questions and concerns.

     For decades I've been both intrigued and frustrated with our tendency as humans to put people into carefully constructed boxes.  These are fortified with readily available stereotypes, and our selective assimilation of information that coincides with our limited perspectives.

     Now that you have a little bit of my background, let me bring you into my hopes for this blog.  When we encounter a situation or read about some controversial issue, we are very quick to latch onto our fully developed position and resistant to truly engaging with opposing perspectives.  The news media (both left and right leaning) and to some degree, social media, are mechanisms of reinforcement.  I watch both Fox News and CNN every few days and learn different perspectives from each.  What I don't learn is the middle ground between positions. 

     My GOAL with this blog is to present either an experience, encounter, or some contemporary issue, and then solicit viewpoints regarding the midpoint of the issue where most people could agree if we actually communicated; it is to pursue the unaddressed perspectives or the common denominators in the middle.  I do not want to deal with extreme positions. There are thousands of blogs reinforcing division.

     I invite all of my readers to offer their perspectives AND will do my level best to respect and respond to as many as I can. 


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