Monday, May 29, 2023

Generalities leave you high and dry

| June 5, 2022 1:00 AM

Generally speaking, generalities can get you in trouble.

Democrats hate their country. Republicans are stupid. Baseball is boring.

OK, maybe there's a little something to that last one, but you get the point.

“We think in generalities, but we live in detail,” somebody once said.

Bingo. We’ve got to stop thinking like that.

First, it’s a copout, an easy way to slap a label on something complex and dismiss it as “done.”

Second, leaning on generalities makes our brains lazy. Lord knows we need our thinking caps more than ever, what with so much information and disinformation clogging the intellectual atmosphere.

Further, and acutely painful right now, dropping bomb after bomb of generalities only further divides us. If we aren’t actively seeking out the real individual in every group, groups become concrete and individuals are mist.

So here’s an exercise we challenge you to take.

Republicans, find something you like about Joe Biden.

Democrats, find something you like about Donald Trump.

Baseball haters, find something exciting about …

OK, scratch that.

Here’s a real one for you.

The other night at dinner, friends who live near the lake were talking about an equipment malfunction that led to their area not having any water. According to them, staff couldn't fix what was not working and families were left high and dry.

Someone with something of an engineering bent stepped forward as an active citizen, solved the problem and was hailed by the water department as an H2O savior.

That person was Brent Regan. Yes, the same Brent Regan in charge of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, a political figure with whom it’s easy for some of us to ardently disagree.

The danger in dismissing Brent because you might hate his politics is that you would lose out on ways he might make your life and other lives better.

It’s possible that principle applies to darn near everyone.

So let’s celebrate thinking in detail and living in detail with a toast, shall we? A glass of fresh, clean water?

Recent Headlines