I have to start by saying I am one of the most opinionated people I know. Now admittedly that could be because there is no avoiding even those opinions I do not confess openly, but I tend to think I also confess my opinions more openly than most people, even other writers. Just because I have opinions, which I naturally think are right, does not mean I think my opinions are appropriate for everyone.
There are certain standards I think should be maintained by all humans. These are rules of conduct that transcend time and place, and can be seen even in conflicting groups: Traditionally Wiccans and Christians have been at odds to the point of hatred and war, yet the most significant guide of conduct for both are almost exact. “Do unto your bother what you would have him do unto you.” translates nicely into “Harm none.” The behaviors of each are similar, the reasons are only slightly different.
Such religious understandings give me a unique perspective of the world, as does my observations of the individualized requirements of some beings. These unique needs are always in the forefront of my mind when an opinion forms. Some people require something different than what I require, which may make my opinion right for me, but wrong for someone else.
Religion being to sensitive and personal for “right” and “wrong” let’s look at the way children develop. From the methods in which they learn, to the procedures for disciplinary action, each child reacts in a unique way. Some children are capable of sitting still and attentive, while others simply cannot. Those who cannot may fit into one of several categories, the most common of which are ADD/HAD or the less popular Kinetic Learners. Obviously when working with chemicals, there will be a specific combination and dosage that will work with each individual, just as each Kinetic Learner must find their own non-disruptive movement.
For some children, just to be in trouble is so distressful, nothing beyond that embarrassment is required to change the inappropriate behavior. Some children are mentally incapable of focusing on the verbal lesson, and require some physical explanation of the problem with their behavior or resolution. Some children can understand a very adult verbalization with excellent results. In my youth the most significant punishment I ever received was, instead of being sent to my room, being forced to remain in the living-room with the family. In spite of a step-mother who used to hit until we cried or she got tired, it was the social interaction that was the worse punishment, because it conformed to my specific personality.
Most adults who have spent any time around children can confirm this fact that each child is unique and responds to variables differently, as I just explained. We all understand that, in most cases, these children grow up, therefore becoming adults with unique and individual needs. Somehow, in this process of maturing, we lose sight of the fact that different people have different needs.
Here in America, we like to claim that we understand this. We grant the freedom to be different in almost everything we profess, however our actions do nothing of the sort. Religion and politics are the two most significant examples of our inability to allow for the individuality of humans: We want to enforce our way of life on everyone.
Well guess what; freedom is not appropriate for everyone. Some people need boundaries of thought while others require boundaries of actions. Societies created laws in order to help people of differing opinions to live in harmony with one another. These laws are gathered in groups of generalized agreements, forming the bonds of specific cultures. Each of us are influenced by the culture we grew up in. Even those who rebel against the standard they grew up in, there is often a polar opposite that binds them to that specific past, such as Satanism does with Christianity.
For a Protestant reader, it may not be so far a leap for them to understand the need in some individuals for the rigidity of Catholicism. The Catholic may understand the Wiccan’s need to worship through the Sacred Feminine more so than the Sacred Masculine, even if they don’t agree with it. Unique religious requirements are much easier for people to accept than political ones.
It appears as though the United Sates (as well as other countries) believe there is only on acceptable form of government. Any government that even has the appearance of stunted freedoms, must be “wrong”, from the American perspective. If the government is not run by the people, then it is no good.
While the Chinese government has been flourishing for as long as I can remember, I do not remember a time when the American government wasn’t in crisis. While Chinese population is rigidly controlled, starving American families continue to produce more starving children. In America, politicians are voted on by individuals who not only do not understand the American process of government, but people who have not even bothered to gather information, propaganda or otherwise, while we complain about the very incumbents we voted for. In China, individuals are nurtured according to their aptitudes, and that includes political charisma.
I do not mean to say that China is perfect. It’s people are not really given the choice to participate in a communist form of government. Lack of freedom to criticize a government means that it can become stagnant, and problems festering. Perhaps it is because I am socialized American or just because I am extremely non-conformist, but having choices is part of what makes up the value of life’s experience.
That doesn’t mean that I can’t understand the value of conformity. Some people require extreme structure, just as some require extreme freedom. Most require some kind of balance between the two. America is currently showing how too many freedoms can be detrimental, while the Nazis helped us see the dangers of over conforming. Perhaps instead of dictating to the rest of the world how they should live their lives and govern their people, we should pay closer attention to what makes us do so: the belief that people have the right to be different.