Law, Like Love
Law, say the gardeners, is the sun,
Law is the one
All gardeners obey
To-morrow, yesterday, to-day…..
Yet law-abiding scholars write:
Law is neither wrong nor right,
Law is only crimes
Punished by places and by times,
Law is the clothes men wear
Law is Good morning and Good night….
If we, dear, know we know no more
Than they about the Law,
If I no more than you
Know what we should and should not do
Except that all agree
Gladly or miserably
That the Law is
And that all know this
If therefore thinking it absurd
To identify Law with some other word,
Unlike so many men
I cannot say Law is again,
No more than they can we suppress
The universal wish to guess
Or slip out of our own position
Into an unconcerned condition.
Although I can at least confine
Your vanity and mine
To stating timidly
A timid similarity,
We shall boast anyvay:
Like love I say.
Like love we don’t know where or why,
Like love we can’t compel or fly,
Like love we often weep,
Like love we seldom keep.
I’ m still a product of the 60s. Not the late wild sixties where people burned their bras and burned through their ethics trying to find quivering truth with drugs and sex, although that had it’s moments. I’m a product of Miss Manors.
Why? Truth is not always a kindly house guest. So much truth is subjective. The fact that it’s true in your life does not make it of necessity true in mine.Kindness and consideration can stay longer than three days in my space. Brutal honesty, not so much. Opinion, not really at all.
This poem by Auden is one of my all time favorites. What is the law? What is appropriate? Who holds the keys? Who decides what is and is not acceptable? And why?
We seem to be more divided lately than ever. The separations are political, rude and come to name calling pretty fast in this campaign season. I normally am oblivious. None of that makes dragonflies. But I have to say I’m as frightened with the future as anyone else. And it has political overtones.
I’m a firm believer in multiple view points. I appreciate the differences, because it allows for a correction point when we really are off track. If I have the wrong answer, maybe you have a better one. As long as all of that is functioning, it’s harder to do something that’s deadly extreme. As long as the process is allowing other voices, then no one get’s ignored. But where do we post those? Where to we get to say?
In this day of public media, it’s possible to say it almost anywhere. But there are those who haven’t noticed that they are not just in their living room when they’re on their computer. What we say on the computer is about as public as Madison Square Garden and 500 times as lasting.
Lately I’ve had a run of experiences where people wanted to use either my facebook wall or blog for their viewpoint. In each case it was an alternative view I really don’t hold. Yet there it was, associated with me because it was in my space. And I wonder what Ms. Manners would make of that.
I had one woman tell me in 7 separate emails that if I asked her opinion through a group email, I was honor bound to publish it on my blog. It was three thousand miles away from my own thoughts on the matter, and pointed negatively at someone else who had written in. She had a blog of her own. I checked. It hadn’t been entered in for over 6 months. By the time the shouting stopped she’d hit the point of name calling. I had another woman post three negative comments on a facebook post. I unfriended her, because I think it’s inevitable I will offend her. Probably as we speak.
We view social media as a leisure media. But it isn’t strictly. For any one in business it is the face of their business. It has their name, their brand, right on the top corner. I get dozens of emails a day telling me how I can maximize facebook, my blog, my pininterest, myspace and my face, all on those social media. It is a business presence.
So at the risk of being digitally egged, just this once I’m going to ask. Are you obliged to post negative comments on your site? With your name and picture on it? Do you have an obligation to post stuff you really disagree with? These posts form people’s images and ideas about you. The comments are there as loudly as whatever you originally said. I am all for freedom of speech. I just think that if it’s your voice, and your opinion, your face should be on top the the article.
It’s not like we change people’s minds with these comments. I’ve found that at a certain point, we simply state where we are and they state where they are. Instead it’s a cementing of differences. I just object to it being on a site or space that’s mine. I wouldn’t have posted or printed my original statement if I didn’t care about it. And I would never have gone on their site to post a cheap shot against their viewpoint. I don’t think Ms. Manners would approve.
I will post people’s notes on this. But I’ll only give you one shot each. And after that, I’m claiming my sites as my own.
So I’m back to Auden. In a world where right and wrong are at best under review, what is wrong with personal space? Much of what we disagree with is fine, as long as it’s not in our spot, defining us. So, Ms. Manners, what do we do? “Like love I say.” Whatever happened to live and let live?
Of course, perhaps the old saw that you don’t discuss politics or religion needs to come back into vogue. This desire to wash it all in public is, in my own case, perhaps a nervous tick.
Both Blogspot and WordPress offer great free blog spaces for all views.Facebook gives anyone a page. If you need to argue your point, perhaps it should be said under your picture.