When I was a kid I used to love to climb fences. It was one of my favorite things to do. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “What kid does not like to climb period?” Well I’d have to agree with you. Kids do love to climb things. Anything. It was and is a great since of accomplishment. I mean look how many people pay thousands of dollars to ascend mountains like Everest every year. However, the type of climbing I was doing was a little different that what you may be imagining. You see climbing the fence for me was not about making it to the other side. It was not about getting over the top and back to the ground. It was about getting to the top so I could see both sides.
I have been noticing some things lately more than I did in the past. Maybe my eyes are simply open now. As a child I liked to climb to the top of that fence because up at the top I had the chance to see what was beyond my side. I was able to take a look at how the neighbor suggested you keep a backyard. I was able to see in some parts into 4 yards at once. This gave me perspective. This showed me that people had differing ideas of beauty, different ideas of clean, different ideas of style, different ways to care for things they may call theirs. I noticed that most of my friends were simply in a hurry to get over the fence to the other side and move on. Once they were on the other side that became their reality. Once they were on the other side that became their perspective. Once they were on the other side they needed to either make friends with that huge dog headed their way or get back to the other side. OK OK. The dog has nothing to do with where I am trying to go with this post so I will continue. The question that I was asking myself the other day when I thought about this post is, “Why do we all feel the need to reside on a singular side of the fence?” “Why do we think that all answers have to be this or that?” Choose now and based on your choice we are going to clump you into a group. We see this everywhere on small and large scales. Look no further than you are a Crossfitter, Bodybuilder, Powerlifter, Yogi, Runner, Triathlete etc etc. On a larger scale you have to be Democrat, Republican, Independent (although you have no chance) surviving that way. We are clumped by color, size, belief, style, music, work, geographic location, house size, bank account size and more. We are often at fault for being boxed into a group because we have been taught to choose a side. Choose a team. Choose. Choose. Choose. This is not a post advocating indecision as you may be starting to think. Its not that at all. In fact I am not going to begin to argue all the thoughts that I have on this topic at this point. I simply want to raise a question.
Why is it so bad to stop on top of the fence? Why is it so bad to see the good in all the different styles and opinions? More importantly WHY must we build so many damn fences? Why are forcing people to choose sides and then creating huge debate between them? If you don’t think “fences” or “grouping” or “labeling” is killing our society you have not stopped at the top of then fence and watched whats going on. You see once someone is placed on the side of a fence they drink all the kook-aid from that side of the fence. Then when someone from the other side of the fence peers over they beat them back. If someone from the other side of the fence poses a question that questions what is going on on your side of the fence the response is often defensive. You see what is happening is people are on the side of the fence that they are on and they defend it until the end. Posturing, Barking, Defending, The need to be right becomes the focus. My way is better than your way. We know what is best and what your doing is dumb. A pissing match ensues but had the person stopped and listen to the actual question they may have heard this, “I was lingering on the top of the fence and I noticed that you structure your meeting in a specific way. It looked very effective and I was wondering what you felt were the benefits of that structure? I also wanted to know how you felt the structure has assisted you in reaching your goals?” The question was one of curiosity not one from a my is better than yours stance. (small digression pardon me) The thing that made Bruce Lee so amazing was his ability to go into a martial art and ask the teachers to teach him. He would learn the art and take from his base of knowledge of Kung Fu to test the art. He would then look to all the things that would defeat his style and the areas the new art was “weak.” From this information we would move to the next art until he created his style or “art” that he felt was composed of all the strengths of the arts together. He was genius. He brought all great minds and teaching together to make even a stronger one.
As a child sitting atop a fence and peering into several yards I realized that it takes all of us to create this world. We also all live in this world. As I sat on the top I realized that everyone has something amazing too offer. Not everything will be for you but that is ok. We should not be made to be stuck on a side of the fence eating only what they serve. We should be made to experience all the world has to offer. It saddens me a great deal that we have been forced to defend a position as our position just because we are on that side of the line. A question like am I a left winger or right winger leaves my without a response. Last I remember it generally takes two wings to fly. If it were up to me I’d take the best of both of them and have them work cooperatively to keep my floating above all the fences. Realizing that this went from blog post to somewhat of an organized ramble I leave you with this question: Labeling, Categorizing, Filing are all ways we organize files to be found when we need them for a specific purpose. It appears that the world is filing us away until we are needed. Keeping us fenced in and making sure we are supporting what we are supposed to be supporting. Do you enjoy that? Is it really a way to live? Me, I still prefer to sit atop the fence and take from all the grandmasters to redirect in a language that I understand most.