Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Origins and How They Affect My View of Public Policy Issues

The recent death of my 98 year old mother created a flood of memories of my childhood. With this coinciding with my candidacy for State Representative, it represented a great opportunity to consider how those early impressions affect my thinking on a number of today’s state and national issues.

"What one sees depends on where one stands.” This surely has meaning to an exceptionally short or exceptionally tall person in the physical sense, but also has meaning in one’s outlook in life. That is, our past experiences color how we see the world today. Two people with different backgrounds can see the exact same thing and interpret the occurrence entirely differently.

Because of this, Peter Senge in “The Fifth Discipline” promotes dialogue to explore such differences in backgrounds and perceptions, with the goal to more often arrive at collaborative solutions to problems and issues. He also advises exploring our own perceptions and their origins, and scrutinizing them to see whether they square with reality.

This phenomenon of how external stimuli are filtered by our past experiences to create our current perceptions partly explains our political differences. In the hopes that my views can be better understood and thus make finding common ground more possible, I have given some thought to and hereby share My Origins and How They Affect My View of Public Policy Issues of the Importance of Education, the Welfare State and Poverty, Medical Care as a “Right”, Our “Dependency Culture” and Immigration.

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