Let’s give the blather about “tribalism” and “ideologies” a swift kick in the knees.

I’ll be getting back to this topic, but here I take a swift kick at what I’ll call “ideology-talk.” Whatever it is that some people think ideology is, it seems they think it something that keeps us apart. You know, I’m in one camp, you’re in the other. So let’s push on that notion a bit, shall we?

If you’re a Catholic, you won’t show up at the Vatican to couch surf for the weekend. If you’re a Red Sox fan, you won’t call up the manager and ask for his house keys. If you did, you might be slapped with a restraining order. You might party with other Red Sox fans at a bar after a game, but you’re not going to pass around your hat for help with a down payment on a new home. If you’re a Democrat, you won’t show up at head office with a box of Kleenex to off-load your despair over your latest break-up. Nor will you hand your poo-sample to the guy wearing a PETA shirt just like yours and ask him to drop it at the nearest lab.

By contrast, you sleep on your best-peep’s couch because you have her house-keys. She cut them for you. She’ll give you everything she can muster toward your down payment, and she’ll cry with you over your break up. She’ll even take your poo to the lab and hope that the sample is normal. If you have cancer, she’ll be there shaving her head when you lose your hair. Your friend might wear a PETA t-shirt, you wear one with the slogan, I. LOVE. ALBERTA. BEEF. You both love animals. You’ve incorporated some ideas from your friend about raising cattle more humanely into your business, and because of you she’s become less aggressive, and more effective, in her advocacy. You’ve got some really different ideas about the way the world works, such as different politics and views on spirituality. But you make each other think, you make each other laugh, and your friendship works.

Some marriages work this way too. Think of a couple where she goes to church, he doesn’t. Or vice versa. People who think differently about politics, religion, and these sorts of thing can — and do — procreate. It’s almost like we’re the same species or something. Sharing our lives together over time and building bonds of mutual trust can leave room for us to disagree without fearing the loss of relationship. Disagreements sometimes go gravely wrong. But, I suspect there is far more “ideological” mixing and matching, and even match-making, than what those on the info-tainment/edu-tainment circuits too often suggest.

Categories: Ponderings

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