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#stereotypebuster



I dashed into the chiropractor's office in the middle of an epic spring downpour. It was raining harder than I'd ever seen. Shortly after I got comfy in the waiting room this nice fella walked in and commented on the weather, the way people do in waiting rooms.


He looked me in the eye and said, "Ya know, people really oughta start payin' attention to this climate change stuff. I can't believe there are still folks out there who don't believe in it.".


He said he knew it was happening from the way the cloud formations had changed over the years, also the way the maple sugaring schedule had shifted. It used to be you sugared around mid-March, but now if you don't have everything tapped by mid-February, you've missed the entire season...


I readily agreed and, noticing his hat, commented that it was interesting to be having this conversation because so many people assume MAGA hat wearers don't believe in climate change.


He said, "Ah, ha! So, you know who this guy is. Well, my wife doesn't much like him because of things he says. But I like what he's done for veterans, so I told her it's like beets. See, I've just never taken a likin' to 'em. I've tried and tried but I can't do it, I just don't like 'em. But my wife, she loves 'em. She eats those beets like they're candy. So I says to her; honey, it's like beets. You get to like yer beets and I don't have to, I get to like this guy and you don't have to. And that's just fine."


Seems to me we could all take some advice from my new friend and assume more of a 'beets' approach to disagreements. Now, I'm not saying you need to tolerate childhood detention centers that look more like concentration camps. And I'm not saying anyone should overlook the human rights abuses that occurred under Obama, either.


All I'm proposing is a little wisdom from an old Adirondacker who's been married for 50 years while watching the sky and workin' the land at least as long: You don't have to change your mind, but you can leave room for others to disagree without shutting them out.


Besides, life's so boring when we assume we already know everything...especially about other people. I sure didn't peg him as the guy goin' around town grumbling about how crazy people are not to believe in climate change...



* The Multiverse is on a mission to find more understanding and commonality in a moment when America(n media) seems hell bent on further ostracizing each other. If you have stories that fit the bill, or stereotype busters of your own, please send them our way at creative@open-eye.com !



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