Two Sides
Off the Wall, March 3,

I have come to the conclusion that there almost has to be two sides to every circumstance, situation or argument, if it’s gotten to be that stage. Willingness to sit tight and listen to another’s view is really the crux of the matter.

How many people will stick to one point of view without considering the other side or even wanting to know why a person has the attitude toward something or other?

You’ve probably heard someone say to the other, “You old stick in the mud.” What a person of the cloth recently told me is “You have to let things roll off you.” That’s not always easy, particularly personal attacks.

That may be for some, but as I see it, God me the way I am. So, when people come up to me and state that we are living in a new time period and we have to go with the flow, they are talking to the wrong person. I have a hard time “letting things roll off of me,” whereby peoples’ statements have cut into my core, particularly personal digs.

I can think of three issues whereby I won’t budge: abortion, my belief in the Holy Family, and my willingness to be chartable to others.

Briefly describing abortion, no one can convince me that tearing apart a human being until he or she succumbs isn’t barbaric. This little person has feelings, nerve endings, just as you, your neighbor and me. Can you just imagine someone coming up to a person on the street, maybe a 2 year-old youngster that is led by its mother, and tearing its arm off, or causing bodily harm? I see no difference between that and picking apart a seven-month old baby in its mother’s womb and discarding the flesh until there are little remains causing the death of the child.

I not only have seen pictures of what fetuses look like after they have been segmented, but a poster depicting the anguish as shown by the facial features of the child which in essence really tells the whole story.

Along the same line of inhuman treatment by the most intelligent being on this earth, I know of a certain person who will catch fish, filet them while they are alive, and then throw back the skeletal fish with its head attached back into the water. Can you imagine the pain that creature must be feeling?

Next, is my belief in the Holy Family. I know beyond any and all shadow of a doubt that God is real and so are Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Mary, Joseph, and all connected with the Kingdom and no one can convince me otherwise.

As for doing charity, we are all called to love one another and serve one another. I do as circumstances allow. Since I am older, I find I cannot do as much, but am still trying to fulfill what I consider my obligations.

Now that I have that out of the way, I would like to bring to the table the fact that I believe there are usually two ways of approaching situations.

Recently Harold Snopsuckle of Latrobe phoned me to shoot the breeze. He stated he hadn’t talked to me for sometime and wanted to catch up. I said to him, “This New Year, I have decided to change my ways. I’m going to less complain and be more positive.”

Harold stated, “You’ll never change. Your too old to change.” With that I said, “There are two sides to every coin. You evidenced one side. Now, you are going to witness a whole new me.”

Change has never been easy for anyone, particularly those who have been caught up in living a certain way for sometime. In defense of my behavior, my complaining, I believe, has always been along the line of constructive criticism. I’ve always wanted to see things better than they are.

Harold doesn’t see it that way. But then I believe he has his ways, too, and he and I may have a difference of opinion, and I think that’s where the problem lies. He has to come to respect mine and I, his.

Isn’t that where the whole problem lies – around the attitude of respect? On the other hand, maybe my complaints are geared toward something that would be more positive than the negativity aspect?

Acquiring the attitude toward positivity may take some work. By sticking to my resolution, I hope to appear in better light.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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