across a rose fence—
a cat lover
a cat hater
I am so tired of the extremes of our politics. What happened to moderation? of seeing the other side? of win/win compromises? As a (recovering) perfectionist, I know how easy it is to see the bad in people and situations. But once I start to focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s right, I’m no longer able to find a solution that works for anyone except me. I put up a fence that blocks my view to the needs, beliefs and values of those who don’t agree with me.
I think the answer is a beautiful rose fence. A living fence allows for the flow of information and light. It’s low enough that we can talk. It’s a barrier that says I have some boundaries, but I’d like to see the best in you and to show you my best. We may have to agree that we feel differently about cats, but we can agree on dogs or giraffes or any number of other things that are equally important. Perhaps I will come to understand why you feel the way you do about cats without insisting that you believe the same way I do and without believing that you are a terrible person.
When I get caught up in what the “other side” is saying and doing, I remind myself about the people I love in my life who approach life differently than I do and who are still beautiful, generous people. I want my fences to be an appropriate height so I can see the person on the other side. I want to offer bouquets of roses, not throw thorns.