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August 14, 2012

When the Left is Right. ~ Edith Lazenby

 

Is the Right Wrong?

What makes the left right and the right wrong? I ask myself this often when sharing with my peers who all tend to be to the left of things, except my oldest friend, who is not. Yet we can discuss anything and everything. One my mentors says we are having peace talks. It works because the foundation is love and respect.

Yet here among my peers, if I say someone is evangelical they are dismissed in a breath. If I question the leadership of our president, am I endorsing the only other option we have? Though we have the freedom here to say what we think and reflect openly, what purpose does it serve if we are only discussing with those who support or agree with what we say?

On the way home tonight I heard some banter from both parties in this election year. In my very humble opinion, it seems like it does not matter who runs; the party platform requires certain things to be said every time. When that does not work we witness the blame-game.

Passion and Fire

I find my left wing peers are often more narrow in their thinking than my 86-year-old father. I don’t always agree with him, but I respect his passion and fire. He brings years of experience to the table and much knowledge.

I don’t think war is good for anyone. I don’t interpret the Bible literally. Yet, war is a reality and the Bible is an incredible book documenting the development of a people in the Old Testament and the seeds of Christianity in the New Testament.

I value passion wherever I find it if it is not blind and self-serving.

I coined a phrase a long time ago: Need is desire’s best liar. What is this need to be right? If leftist thinkers are biased against individuals without ever knowing them or cannot even consider other options, passing judgment on the basis of belief, then aren’t we doing exactly what some right wing thinkers do to us? What happens to dialogue and respect?

Humanity’s Mirror

I believe gay marriage is a civil right. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I think the degree of humanity is reflected with how a society takes care of the less fortunate and the disabled.

I stopped eating meat this year. As I learn more about factory farming, I am appalled at what is going on here and around the world.

My bumper sticker says: Compassion is the best revenge.

What if we, as a group, could honor difference for what it is? I love this country with all its faults.

I have recently taken to watching foreign films. In some parts of the world genocide is a reality. War is not part of my daily reality. Yet many in this nation struggle to find food and shelter every day.

Helping Our Own

I believe in helping and did community service when I had that commodity called spare time. Why do so many here go all over the world where yes, help is needed, but what about our own, the children without homes, the mentally ill, the addicted, the raped, the illiterate? Why don’t more people work to help our own? This country is full of compassion. Why don’t we look at the compassion that takes us elsewhere and plant it here?

I call myself a humanist. As a yoga instructor, individuals who think more to the left than the right surround me. I am a lousy activist, though grateful many are called to it. I write poems. My goal is kindness, though I fall short more often than I care to consider. I believe most people do their best most of the time.

But who are we to think right is wrong or more narrow without considering the potential to learn? Some right wing people do have strong values and care deeply for others just as the left wing thinkers do. We all need to open our hearts, maintain respect, and listen to the heart. This is a great country.  I don’t know that it is the best but it is mine.

The “Lucky,” good and bad

Am I well informed? No I am not. I am working on it. I just know that liberals can be just as judgmental in their thinking as conservatives. I know what I think to be right and good. But life is not fair. I learned that when I was nine-years-old: we had a babysitter and I got in trouble though my brother misbehaved as well and I realized nothing I said would make a difference. It was not fair. I understood then that life is not fair. Many things happen to all of us, some good, some bad.

There are wars. There is poverty. Tragedy happens. Wonderful things happen. Douglas Brooks calls it the “Lucky” and some times the luck is good and some times it is bad. An open mind comes from an open heart. The left can be more right than the right, and you can take that metaphor on all levels.

 

I am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC, and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was 9 years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write and teach because I love it. I tell my students: do it because you can. I believe in creating opportunity and in helping. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate.

My blog and website: www.edieyoga.wordpress.com

 

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

 

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