Greetings, dear ones, and welcome to The Corner. First off let me send out a huge thanks to D and R for a wonderful Thanksgiving. The food was awesome (who knew vegetarian fare could be so...urp...filling), the hospitality solar in its warmth, the gaming a fun reminder of why I need to get this magic box fixed, and the fighting as informative as it was painful. And, apropos of the title of today's edition, several of our conversations lead me to the following realizations. There have been many times in my life where it was revealed, usually at the trailing edge of some agonizing blunder, that I was hiding behind such realistic facades of my own construction that even I couldn't see behind them. Fortunately, for me, this holiday allowed me to see that I had built some more of these things without the 'benefit' of a painful hindsight episode. Here are some of the things that I saw.
Amongst our discussions of movies, tv, childhood foibles, the subject of the legalization of marijuana arose. I have spent years honing my beliefs on this subject, to the point that they have become, in my mind, FACT. Any rational person should see that the drug cartels are in bed with the American government to keep it illegal, so they can keep the profits all to themselves. To me, legalization would save the country billions by allowing law enforcement to focus on more important crimes, as well as allowing for additional tax revenue. But there is an angle I had not considered. D is a health care professional, and after my harangue about the above he asked me simply if I could go back in time and make tobacco illegal, or keep alcohol illegal, would I? Since a large part of my objections to keeping weed illegal were monetary in origin, illegalizing all harmful substances could possibly save even more in health care costs. I don't yet know if I agree that legislation should protect people from themselves, but the point is that with one sentence it was pointed out in crystal clarity that there were factors I was ignoring in forming my opinion.
Another instance of D's uncanny knack for cutting through the fog of preconceptions was during our discussions of the SCA. Over the last four years I had built up some pretty strong prejudices toward 'what the SCA has become'. All along I was taking a page out of my grandmother's book by prefacing opinions with 'now I don't want to sound like an old codger, but' and then I would launch into a diatribe about how much better things were back in the old days. It was during one of those spurious comparisons that D showed me that I was mistaken, but not in a 'you are so wrong' way, but in a 'well, this is what the reality is' way. The same thing happened during our brief fighter practice. I had tons of excuses for why my fighting sucks, and rather than say, 'yeah, you suck', he just showed me how to do some new stuff, and a bit of insight on how he did stuff. Never once did he say 'this is how it should be done', but just 'this is what I do'. And it was during the course of these conversations that I realized many of the underlying fears that caused me to find excuses not to practice, or go to events, or whatever. Of course, he also used my helmet like the Liberty Bell to emphasize his point from time to time, but I guess that goes with the territory. :-)
So thanks again to D and R for the great holiday. My tummy was full, and my mind opened a bit. Oh, and the kitten therapy was great as well. :-)