Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Part of the Problem

I watch the news. A lot. I've been a News Junkie for close to 20 years now. It's a calling, a way of life.

Over the past several months I have observed several instances where I have seen too many people being Part of the Problem.

Most days I like to think I'm Part of the Solution, but I have to admit that on at least one particular occasion, I was Part of the Problem. And for that occasion, I owe a long overdue apology to my friend Marvelous Orange.

Because of our assignments, Marvelous Orange and I didn't get to spend a lot of time together. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed MO's company. While visiting my Formerly Adopted Home Town, Marvelous Orange and I were talking. During that conversation, I made the statement that put me squarely in the position of being Part of the Problem.

In a single sentence, I cast aspersions on my friend, a portion of the population of my Formerly Adopted Home Town, and a whole section of our society that did not deserve to be treated that way by me.

In my own mind, at the time, I was trying to express my delight at being home where, in part, the stories I saw on the news were different than the stories I had been seeing for the several months prior to this incident. Specifically, I noted that the people in my Formerly Adopted Home Town used language in a way that I thought showed a higher level of education, or at least respect for communication and language itself, than what I had been seeing on TV and in person where I had been.

That's not how it came out.

What came out of my mouth was, in a singe sentence, a recap of everything that is wrong with being Part of the Problem including grouping people together, application of lower standards, and a general insensitivity.

The point, I believe, is still valid in as much as in some parts of the country, the use of, and respect for, language is viewed differently. But that's it. Had I expressed myself that way, I wouldn't be writing this today, too many years later.

To borrow from South Park, I get it: I don't get it!

Marvelous Orange, please accept these too many years later my sincere and humble apology for running my mouth before considering my words. In that moment with you, I was Part of the Problem.

-- Falstaff

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