Monday, February 2, 2009

The Courageous Middle Ground

Do you have the courage not to take a stand? The ability to see things more than one way? The balls to admit that maybe the other side is right?

I'll admit that decisiveness is important. There are times where you must be able to make a clear decision and stick with it. Everyone should be exposed to tough decisions and allowed to have firm opinions.

What seems to be lost, especially in punditry, politics, and online forums, is the ability to have a mixed opinions. There are a courageous few who take the middle, often enraging those on either side.

The middle is a thankless position. It helps the arguments of both sides and hurts them at the same time. Occasionally it is recognized as the right position, but rarely is held as a brave position.

Too often the middle position is declared indecisive and cowardly. While there are instances where this is true, it is more likely that the middle is decisive on more nuanced points and they are brave enough to speak out against everyone while agreeing only in part. Rarely will the middle position earn you new friends. It takes far more effort to sustain this position, as you have to defend nuanced and expansive arguments while your opponents will lump everything together for their convenience.

If you are brave and decide to take the road less traveled you should be rewarded for any sensible views you may have. It's unlikely that you will, so take my appreciation now.

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