A Facebook friend asked Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba recently, “Do you ever have a good word for anybody?”
To which he responded “Yes”.
YFNA has a good word for anyone who thinks a position all the way through before voicing it. Who adopts that position on the basis of analysis, which has a chance of advancing the interests of society at large, rather than advocacy, which advances only the interests of the advocates. Who realizes that arguments conducted by polarized, mutually-deaf, armed camps might address the issues at hand, but only by reducing the numbers of those who have to worry about it – a benefit mitigated by the loss of arable land, through unexploded ordnance or radiation, to those left to try and till it. Who votes for representatives that work for solutions rather than fly the banners for which we think that we stand.
YFNA has a good word for anyone who recognizes that five minutes at Wal-Mart negates five decades of speechifying about worker rights, that the 50-minute daily commute announces disregard of five decades of climate-change research. Who recognizes that “liberals” in name likely will become liberals in fact (i.e., libertarians, Tea Partiers) if the policies for which their advocacy cries out put any crimp in their actual lifestyle. Who observes that what a person says is without true meaning, what one does is all-powerful, because actions, not words, are the source of profit, without which all else falls – that an advocacy call for universities to disinvest in energy stocks will only engender advocacy from persons screaming about the high cost of university tuition, whereas the simple refusal to use fossil fuels, spread across a population, will cause the universities to drop those stocks cat-quick. Who does what is possible, on the one hand, to get people to perceive the fallacies of strident advocacy, and on the other to bring folk to common ground so that they might productively address the issues of the day. Without causing farmland to glow green.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba is a microscopic protozoon, an insignificant child in the eyes of the world. And a seriously flawed and misshapen child, at that. It was nevertheless a child that saw what the Emperor was truly wearing. And, YFNA argues, today’s world is full of emperors … or, perhaps more accurately, grand viziers.