Monday, April 13, 2009

JMO - Soapbox Issues

We all have soapbox issues, ones we're so passionate about we don't know when and how to shut up. We always want the last word. We always want everyone to understand, and sometimes worse, to agree with us. We always want our view to be "the" view and not one of many. And we're always blind to ourself.

I have several soapbox issues. Some have long faded into history as events have changed to where it's no longer a real issue and only history. Like George Bush. Some have dimished to a level it's either stupid or irrelevant to talk about them. And some linger as issues just enough enough to bubble forth now and then to become an issue it's worth getting out the soapbox and standing there yelling at the world.

Like the world will listen? Do you know how many people are talking about some issues? You'd be surprised no matter how small the issue there are people espousing views in discussions, debates and arguments to no end. The nature of the Internet has improved the interconnectivity where any issue is an invitation to discuss on forums, in blogs, and through groups lists.

My problem is that I have views with some of my soapbox issues that I'm not only in the extreme on the issue, I'm in the extreme of those who are passionate or ardent supporters or opponents of the issue. Like?

For example, I like we need all the wilderness we can find in our country. It's our future. But more than that, I believe we should set aside some wilderness prohibiting people, even backcountry hikers. Simply set it aside and let it be. I would only allow researchers in the area to study and report. And then only others for emergencies. But no other people.

That's not the acceptable view in the wilderness community, so while I'm hated by people who are against wilderness, I'm also hated by those in the wilderness community. It's just my view. I think we should do this for the future generations to make their own decisions. But I'll compromise to have more wilderness and make access restrictive to just hikers and others as emergencies necessitate.

That's one. I have more, but I've learned to park them in my mind and only speak out when it seems to help the discussion. I know my view on these issues don't get much traction and even anger people, so I just keep them private. But then that's why I have a blog. It's my blog to say as I want and if you don't like it, just don't read it.

My blog is my soapbox on the Internet street corner, one of millions. It's just another voice in the huge choir of people. You're free to take or leave as you please. Just walk (surf) by as you would any other corner speaker standing on a soapbox. Or just maybe you'll read it and wonder, if only "Hmmm..., I never thought of that."

Ok, I can hope. And at the end of the day, I'll step down, pickup and fold my soapbox, and put into my pocket and walk away. To come again another day. As they say, "I'm always here."

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