Balance in a World of Extremes

Posted by Art Raymond Share Your Voice

We really do live in a world of extremes. If we look at what is reported on the news, we see that if you disagree with the left, then you are a right wing Conservative fanatic. If you disagree with the right, then you are un-American. Similarly, if you go to church, some think that you must be a snake handler who speaks in tongues. If you don't go to church, then some think you're headed for Hades. We even have extreme sports. And, for those who don't engage in physical exercise, we've got scads of tv shows that depict what can happen when your coach potato habits nearly kill you. For example, you can have a side order of "Biggest Loser" with your "Man Versus Food." Then you can wash down your Bill O'Reilly with a little Anderson Cooper.

The message in all of this is that you have to have an opinion. On top of that, your opinion is only as strong as the vehemence which supports it. The more that you blast the opposite, the more right you are (no pun intended).

What we must do in schools is develop balanced thinking in young people. This is crucial because we want thinkers to be able to strike that middle way, weigh all available options and create solutions that are inclusive and mutually beneficial.

It's risky, but it's the risk takers who affect the greatest change. Not the bullies. Not the real "biggest losers."

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