The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

November 19, 2012

Example of ‘reaching out’ to community

NORMAN — I want to begin by thanking Joe Ted Miller for his excellent essay on the need for all of us to reach out to one another (Transcript, Nov. 11). This has value in all aspects of life but especially in the political dimension of our society right now. We seem to have lost the ability our predecessors had: to listen to and work with people who have different values, make different assumptions and, hence, advocate different policies.

In my view, this inability to listen to one another is the underlying problem behind the gridlock we currently see in Congress. This problem begins, however, with the public, not just with our elected representatives.

We citizens need to learn how to dialogue across differences and then vote for representatives who can do the same. Because of this view, I have been making my own effort to create such dialogue and want to share one recent example.

While having breakfast with a neighbor a few weeks ago, I happened to mention that my political views can be characterized as being on the “far left.” My friend smiled and replied that his were on the “far right.” This surprised me but led me to wonder, later, what he meant by describing himself as “far right.”

But then I asked what I meant by “far left” — and surprised myself when I did not have a ready answer.

So I invited my friend to breakfast again to explore what we each meant by these self-characterizations.

The resulting discussion was wonderful. We each only tried to understand each other, not change the other’s views.

I learned about the experiences he had had that led him to be concerned about the high level of welfare expenditures and the sense of entitlement that some recipients display.

He heard my concern about various forms of social injustice, some of which are prompted by the deep desire for greater profits by large corporations, e.g. Enron, mortgage banks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • Necessary services may be reduced

    Editor, The Transcript: There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society....

    April 20, 2014

  • Enforcement not the issue

    Editor, The Transcript: The government is legally right in the U.S. Government vs. Bundy Ranch matter....

    April 20, 2014

  • Family thanks community, takes issue with photo

    Editor, The Transcript: As I write this, it’s been almost eight weeks since Feb. 17, the day my family’s home burned in a fire. We lost our 15-year-old cat, Misti; 7-year-old dog, Sully; 3-year-old rescue squirrel, Rocky; almost 2-year-old ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014