Friday, January 24, 2014

The Malleable Yin Yang

This symbol represents the concept of Yin Yang, being that everything in the universe has an equal opposite, and this opposite gives life its ever evolving (circular) balance.
(The following is a description of an observation I've made recently - now that I have returned to California, after living in Tennessee for 30+ years.)

This Yin Yang concept is a good place to start when thinking about life, and how things are and how things become.   But this idea is a little too ideal and doesn't accurately describe what is going on in the world.   That's because most people in the world have some kind of an agenda.   And this agenda motivates people to manipulate the Yin Yang into a shape that benefits them, or prioritizes them, so that they have an advantage over others.   Of course for each person, what is "priority" is different.   The idealic perfect circle shown above is in reality rather lopsided.

I have lived in both conservative and liberal communities and I've witnessed some peculiarities, as the Yin-Yang exists there as well.   In Conservative States such as Tennessee, the laws are often harsh and draconian. "Authority" is heavily favored.  And communal discussions between people, concerning politics and society, etc., are often very judgmental in nature.   Still, (and here is the "opposite" part), in the day to day interactions with each other, people living in Conservative states are, for the most part, very civil, and courteous towards each other.  They don't mind holding a door for another person, they often engage in polite conversation with total strangers as they encounter them, will volunteer to help someone in need when they see a person over burdened, etc.   But it seems to be the opposite in more Liberal states.

In Liberal states, the laws are generally more considerate of the variety of values of a diverse population, (though not necessarily more lenient than in Conservative states).   Community is heavily favored.  And communal discussions between people, concerning politics and society, etc., are often more open minded.   Still, (and here is the "opposite" part), in the day to day interactions with each other, people living in Liberal states are, for the most part, less courteous towards each other.  Rarely does a person hold a door for another (as compared to people in Conservative states), people don't often engage in conversations with strangers.  For example, people here are more likely to fight with each other for position in line for boarding public transportation.

It is interesting to note that, even though Conservative communities hold the homeless with great disdain, generally speaking, they are more willing and available to create programs for helping the homeless - certainly more so than people in Liberal communities.   Liberals tend to not judge the homeless as harshly as Conservatives do, but when it comes to creating a community response to homelessness, Liberals are less likely to respond and take decisive action.

Here in San Diego, where the total population is 3 times larger than that of the greater Nashville area, and though San Diego has  three times as many homeless people, Nashville actually has more homeless advocates than San Diego.   And the percentage of people who appear to be indifferent to the plight of the homeless seems much greater here in San Diego.

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