Seeking Middle Ground

Sir Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Studies” states “reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man,” and “Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested.” As a retired university librarian, I believe Mr. Bacon hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head.

In today’s information age, I focus on periodicals for most of my reading fodder. The Christian Century covers a wide array of theological issues and religious news and provides challenging information that helps me digest much of our current political, social, economic and religious trends and dilemmas.

Most of what I read is middle-of-the-road or slightly left of center. Columns by economist Paul Krugman in our State Newspaper affirm my understanding of America’s economic plight. Editorials and letters to the editor provide divergent opinions. To those writers with whom I concur I say “Amen, Brother or Sister, write on!” To those whose thoughts are too far to the right for carefully arrived at conclusions, I am reminded of how and why I disagree. Both serve useful purposes.

I am deeply concerned about how polemic our society has become. I pray that our leaders will find middle ground where progress can be made and where the values, hopes and dreams of our nation can be more fully realized. As an avid reader I encourage reading both sides of the issues and thoughtfully concluding how we can as Americans work together. We must ensure that our children are safe, taught by competent educators and given tools essential to learning; that we all have access to affordable health care; that roads and bridges are maintained; that our law enforcement professionals receive deserved support; that our military is prepared and veterans properly cared for; and that we provide incentives to business and industry while protecting our natural resources and habitats.

From what I read to “chew and digest,” the Democratic Party’s ideals best serve our interests, human potential and lasting values.

Paul Dove

Winnsboro