Points of View

The other day I drove up to Rutledge in Grainger County and spent $21.50 for what is pictured here. The label on the box said 25 pounds net weight, so the tomatoes were $.40/lb. 

This is an example of:

My good fortune in living so close to Grainger County 

My level of class privilege, since I have money, a vehicle, and the time to make the trip

My knowledge of my community, since I knew who to call to find out the best place to purchase tomatoes in bulk

A celebration of a bountiful harvest

My commitment to healthy eating, since the sauce, soup, and salsa I make will be fresh and nutritious

My addiction to Grainger County tomatoes in season

My skills as a shopper and ability to find bargains

My work ethic, since a lot of these sauces, etc. will have to be made in bulk and frozen for use during the winter

It is, of course, all of the above. One incident can serve as an example of any number of philosophical, economic, political, or spiritual stances, depending on the point of view of either the speaker or the listener, their overall world view, and the gravity of the situation.

One thing that is by turns funny, scary, fascinating, and worrisome is the difficulty we have in communicating with each other because of this complexity. It is particularly problematic during any campaign season (and this one in particular), but it is always potentially a roadblock to understanding. Sometimes the key to getting past the roadblock is to ask, “What do you think is going on here?” and using that as a beginning. I can talk from any one the points of view listed, but if I don’t take the time and effort to find out what your stance is, we’ll just be talking past each other, not communicating in any legitimate sense of the word. 

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A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

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