I don’t think most of us change our views much during the course of our lifetime. Oh sure, as we age, as we learn new things, learn about history, about political and social ideologies, are exposed to new experiences, we may shift our viewpoints, but I don’t think we do much of a swing from the time we were young. When I focus on young people in my ‘good people’ posts, I always have the feeling that these people, some as young as five or six years old, are going to grow up to be awesome adults with humanitarian values. We are who we are, and while our views may shift, I don’t think the core of us changes much over time. Cruel children grow into cruel adults, children who have compassion as children, typically grow into kind, compassionate adults.
I grew up in the 1950s, came of age in the 1960s during the Civil Rights movement, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been appalled and disgusted by man’s inhumanity to man, by the depths of cruelty of which the human species is capable. When I was very young, I asked questions … LOTS of questions! Drove my parents to drink, I did! I stopped asking questions about religion, for I figured out early on that there were no answers, but I continued to ask questions about other things, like why my best friend, whose skin just happened to be brown, couldn’t be in our family Christmas picture that would be sent to my grandmother. She was, in my book, part of our family. Or why certain people had to sit in one part of a restaurant while others sat in another. I didn’t know the words ‘racism’ or ‘bigotry’, but I saw that different people were treated differently, and I didn’t like it, didn’t understand it.
So, if one must use labels, I suppose I’ve always been liberal-minded. I don’t think that in the “land of milk and honey”, the “land of opportunity”, anybody should be homeless or have to put their children to bed hungry at night. I think the more education we can give our young people, the better equipped they will be to deal with the challenges ahead and help make the world a better place. And I think education through college should be affordable and available to every single person. I think great wealth is the most useless waste of resources – resources that could be saving lives and benefitting far more people. Those are, of course, liberal ideas, but no different than I’ve believed for all of my adult life.
However, while at one time I was just left of center in socio-political ideology, today I and my views are called “far left”. I’ve wondered about this for some time, had a vague notion that it was the ‘right’ pushing the left further from the center, and last night I found this clip by Robert Reich that explains it perfectly and makes much sense. Take a look … see what you think.