May 07, 2008 Blind spots. Let's face it. We all have them. No matter how sanctified or open-minded we are, there will be areas in which we disagree simply because we approach issues from different vantage points. We bring our varying backgrounds and life experiences to the table. Below are some entries from Webster's Third which give a bit of perspective:
Blind-side:1) Football to hit or block (an opposing player) from his blind side 2) to attack (someone) from an unseen or unexpected direction;
Blind side: the side opposite to the direction in which a person is looking
Blind spot: 1) the small area, insensitive to light, in the retina of the eye where the optic nerve enters; 2) an area where vision is hindered or obscured; 3) a prejudice, or area of ignorance, that one has but is often unaware of; 4) an area where radio reception is poor; 5) the log in the other person's eye which keeps him from seeing things my way.
Oh! You caught that, eh? Sorry, Mr. Webster, et al about adding entry #5. Somehow, I couldn't resist adding that little element of dimension to the discussion. It just seems to me that therein lies the problem. Hits or blocks on the football field add to the excitement of the game, at least as seen from the bleachers.
But off the football field, we would do well to remember that just maybe, sometimes, the beam may not be in the other guy's eye. Maybe we've all gotten a little stiff-necked as we've shone our little lights straight ahead, always looking in the same direction, thereby finding what we hoped to find and refusing to shine our lights in any other corners. "Sure 'nuf," we all say. "Just as I thought."
I don't mean to be advocating for total tolerance, either; I'm convinced that sometimes the only stance is intolerance (for positions, not for people). But I can't help thinking if we managed to help each other extricate the logs we could lay them down as bridges. If we developed a world-view which was intent on not only shining our little miner's lights but on shining them into every nook and cranny, we would be less likely to be blind-sided and more likely to find common ground with others seeking equitable solutions when there are decisions to be made.