Two things are happening right now that have me thinking.
The first is The Owl Box. I’ve been watching a wild barn owl, Molly, and her mate McGee, hatch out and raise their owlets in an owl box outfitted with cameras in San Marcos, California. Three owlets and two eggs as of this writing, with three million people worldwide watching and waiting for owlet number four.
I’m not as addicted as some in the chat room, but I am fascinated, and keep her site up as I work at my desk. I’ve learned a lot about the habits of wild owls. This is the internet at its best, and the site is raising money for bird habitat in the San Diego County area by selling t-shirts, mugs and mouse pads. Excellent.
The other thing currently going on that has me thinking is the tea party movement. They’re holding rallies starting in Nevada, and ending, presumably in Washington, D.C. My political leanings are no secret: I’ve been a Libertarian and disappointed. I’ve been a Republican and disappointed. I’m currently leaning a little left and am sure to be disappointed.
However. Never in my memory have I heard of a senator threatened because of a vote he cast, or heard truly hateful, despicable comments thrown at our elected representatives as they walk to work. Really? Is this who we want to be?
The owl box has brought people all over the world, especially school children, together to learn amazing and fascinating things about the world we live in. Grade schools are rerouting their lesson plans to include Molly. Nobody cares who’s Republican or Democrat. Everybody is suddenly excited about wild bird habitat, nature, and watching baby owls eat rodents and grow feathers. We all have this common interest, and I believe some lifelong friendships have been made in the owl box chatroom. I’m certain that future conservationists are watching in their classrooms.
Contrast that with what the tea party is teaching our children.
What kind of a person do you want to be? Inclusive? Or Divisive? Is there room in your life for both rodents and owls, or do you want only owls? Is there room in our democracy for all viewpoints? There should be. We should be able to take any controversial issue, discuss it rationally, agree and agree to disagree and then watch as the experiment continues.
It’s up to us. Each of us, individually, have a responsibility to teach our children–and maybe each other–that there is no right or wrong way. There is only how we react to the process.