Jody Vance

finding The Middle. – by Jody

We are living in a time of extremes.  There is your way, there is my way….over there is the highway.  Where-oh-where has The Middle gone?

IMHO there is a lot to be learned from The Middle.  Like that, very true, old adage: there are three sides to every story – “yours, mine and the truth”.

The truth can often be found in The Middle.

So many discussions in MyBackyard, and on radio, in recent months have included spirited conversations that grow to a bit of a tense crescendo. It is this tension that is a fairly new phenomenon — it’s rare to “agree to disagree” or better still, find The Middle — these days. We are all on a hair trigger!

Extreme (and entrenched) points of view are so often rooted, it seems, in partial facts — fake news — trending stories.  We feel we know all the facts as long as we feel comfortable that they support our stance, right?

The lack of middle can be blamed on many things, but doesn’t the responsibility to find the middle start with us?

If you know me, you know I love a spirited debate — however the most important part of any discussion is where two sides come together to find The Middle. The solution. The starting point for resolution.

What the hell has happened to the universal desire to find middle ground? Are we all of a sudden finding comfort in our constant state of conflict?  Battling with our twitter-verse and unfriending Facebook folks with differing perspectives? Creating a bubble around our views in the name of being elitist or exclusive?

Am I wrong to say that the majority of folks are looking for a fight on their extreme topic?  The banter on social media is, more and more, “attack mode”. Just yesterday I saw one ‘friend’ post a rant about people needing to halt judgemental ways — then she went on to be a judgy-mc-judgison herself, on her own FEED.  She wants a fight.  She feels better on her soapbox, and is disinterested in The Middle…but rather is on a mission to win, at all cost. Her way or the Highway.

We’ve lost the damn middle somewhere.

Somewhere between Trump and Hillary.  Between pipelines and environmentalists. Somewhere between refugees and terrorists. This list gets longer by the day…

The extremes are most polarized in politics, obviously, and it doesn’t get dirtier or more slag-filled than the run up to the US Presidential Election.

Canadians used to be fantastically famous for living in the global middle. Proudly the example of kindness, inclusiveness and neutrality.  As a Canadian I’ve always loved how the middle has been a spectacular place to live.  This is a call for us to NOT roll over and let extremism overtake our middle.

Now, as we Canadians roll into an election year, the echo of that US campaign can be felt, it’s troubling.

I want to live in a country where we do have opposing political views however those views are respectfully shared rather than spewed as a massive time waster in our political chambers.  We, as Canadians, need to find our way back to a common goal, a better Canada.  More and more we are seeing finger pointing and blame over policy and platforms — over the massive gap between parties.  Now is the time for us to show what have we learned from the US over the last 2 years.

The Middle is a place where we understand the opposition and “fight” it with a landslide of alternatives and solutions.  Remember a Canada like that?

Politics aside, some of us go extremes in a personal way, almost battling our bodies.  That all or nothing mentality.  You know the ones, “the juice cleanse” or “cabbage soup diet” — the strict elimination diet – going raw or vegan when we should be going middle.  Why not cut the junk? Eat more plants than bon bons? Enjoy The Middle.

Food for thought as we get back into blog mode here on mybackyard.  Comment, share and come back for more.

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  • Reply Lisa Salazar January 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for this. I wholeheartedly agree. The polarization we have seen explode in recent years throughout the world cannot be good. Compromise is not a dirty word.

  • Reply Cynthia Ott January 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I agree! I think social media is partially responsible . There is no inflection in a comment or a simple dislike. So the poster goes on attack or defensive. Whereas a simple discussion (as in verbal) between people who know each other would not be “its my way or the highway” . Thanks Jody

  • Reply Mike January 7, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    W.B. Yeats, ‘The Second Coming’ (1919)

    Many quite rightly are worried about the future of the values we hold dearly. Civilised society made it through horrible times during the 20th century. Having said that, one may be optimistic, but one can’t exactly be joyful at the prospect before us.

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