[guest post by Nate Winchester]
Was chatting with a friend over the weekend and he said something along the lines of, “Well I think people just need to come together because we agree on so much…”
And then I sighed because I realized how much older I am than some of the pals I hang out with.
Hey, if you’re reading this and you’re a teen-twentysomething – I get it, I really do. ALL of the adults do. Why? Because it wasn’t that long ago we had the exact same idea. (yes, even me!) It’s why we end up rolling our eyes because the older you get, that just means the more kids you’ve listened to repeat the idea all over again.
See, here’s what we always figure out and you probably will too. Let’s take a simple mental example, even make it free of politics. We’re going to institute a policy of puppies to every child in the nation.
No big deal right? Everybody loves puppies, everybody loves kids, left, right, gay, straight, atheist, religious, whoever, surely 90% of us all agree that kids and puppies belong together.
So imagine we’re all together in a room and we’re going to get this program started.
Which puppies? I mean are we going to issue mutts or pure breeds? Jack Russell Terriers or Border Collies? Shitzus or Pit Bulls? Notice that NO MATTER THE ANSWER, someone will have an opinion different from you AND there will be NO OBJECTIVE MEASURE to decide between your opinion and someone else’s. You’ll have reasons for your answer and so will they. X dog may be better at Y, but Z dog is better at A. There is no way science or math or horoscopes can ever provide any kind of “proof” that some puppies should be provided over others.
Then you start to consider all the other questions:
- What is a puppy? A dog under a year? 2 years?
- What’s a kid? Are we going to issue puppies right up until someone’s 18th birthday or just until they’re twelve?
- What do we do with kids allergic to dogs? Arrest them for breaking the law or issue them cats?
- If the kid loses the puppy, do we issue them a new one? Or does a kid get only 1 free one in a lifetime?
- Do we issue the puppies to newborns or have a minimum age for the child?
- Can the puppies be revoked or returned?
- Will we provide any basics like food, bed, etc or will the families do that?
See how one simple policy by which all can agree on the broad idea becomes complicated with dozens of considerations and possible points of honest disagreement. That’s what your “elders” are trying to get across to you – there is a huge gap between the formation of an idea to the execution of it. It’s a bridgeable gap, but doing so takes a lot of work and effort.
That work and effort, is where politics happens. That frustration you feel that the goal is so close to completing if those guys over there would just see things your way is the exact same frustration those guys over there are feeling towards you. Yeah, it may be annoying, but it’s life.