24 Oct

Opportunities or Outcomes?

My friend Mark writes a very thoughtful, mostly data-driven blog about Hartford, regionalism, racism and more. He made this point recently, which resonated with me: “I’m okay with the outcomes being unequal. I’m not okay with the opportunities being unequal.” I couldn’t agree more.

The fact is, some people have more or different abilities than others, more or different interests, more or different work ethics. They will thus logically have different outcomes. As long as that’s by choice, with roughly equal opportunities to develop their abilities and to find work, that’s fair. When it’s not, then my Libra justice gene kicks in, big time.

That sense of justice and balance has been offended a lot lately and is pretty much in overdrive as election crazy season descends on us. Some of the things people say to each other and about others – publicly, on the record, as aspiring leaders – boggle my mind. Never mind basic civility, or the fact that lying is just plain wrong. Or the fact that science doesn’t care what they believe about climate change, as floods and fires increase. We seem to have abandoned logic, research skills and critical thinking.

When this all becomes too stressful, distraction is sometimes my best defense. Thus I count myself extremely fortunate to live in Connecticut, where nature can soothe the savage beast, at least temporarily. The stunning colors of October’s trees remind me there are things bigger and better than us, which will outlive us all. And painting them puts me in a zone where I can briefly forget about the nastiness in our world and focus on beauty.


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