Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Digging under the words

National elections were held just yesterday. It's been an especially contentious election season. So many important issues have been the focus of national debate. Debate might seem like an extremely tepid or overly polite way to describe what's been occurring. Some days, it's more like food fights in a high school cafeteria!

Some of the issues that have been tackled are health care, immigration (except for Native Americans, we all got her through the process of immigration), voter suppression and gerrymandering, the #MeToo movement and all the broad strokes that surround issues related to women, reproductive rights and so much more.

I've been listening to the rhetoric and trying to pay attention to what's underneath the strong feelings and the words that are used—words that often are hurled at each other across an ever-increasing divide. Let's just take one of the issues: reproductive rights. Many feel the terminology typically used can be misleading: pro-life and pro-choice; and those people say that nearly everyone is for life and that it's a matter of who makes the decisions. So I've been thinking a good deal about what exactly the term pro-life means to people. I suspect if I asked 10 people, I might get 10 different answers.

I'm curious: What does it mean to you? For me, pro-life covers such a broad range of things—for example, attention to such issues as hunger, poverty, homelessness, child abuse and domestic violence, education, health care, gun laws and gun violence, just to name a very few. I see what happens throughout the life of that child who's born as a matter of concern. For me, it's more than simply having a child born; it's about making sure that child is safe, loved, cared for and has the best chance at quality of life that's possible. And in this wealthy nation of ours, I believe high quality of life IS possible if we have the will to see to it.

I would love to hear what you think about this and other issues. It's so easy to repeat rhetoric—words and phrases—that we hear politicians or others say. And sometimes we don't really examine those words to see what is underneath them. It's important to do so and to be sure the words we use really are authentic to us.

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