Photo: Stop sign by kougar
For a period of time, I was treating the Stop sign more like a Give Way sign.
Until I heard this joke on the radio one day.
A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a cop. He thinks that he is smarter than the cop as he is sure that he has a better education. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the cop's expense.As a joke it's not that funny, but it jolted me out of my recklessness. I always step on the brake fully at Stop signs now, no matter how "safe" the situation looks.
Cop: License and registration, please.
Lawyer: What for?
Cop: You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign.
Lawyer: I slowed down, and no one was coming.
Cop: You still didn't come to a complete stop. License and registration, please.
Lawyer: What's the difference?
Cop: The difference is you have to come to a complete stop, that's the law. License and registration, please!
Lawyer: If you can show me the legal difference between "slow down" and "stop", I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket, if not you let me go and don't give me the ticket.
Cop: Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.
At this point, the cop takes out his baton and starts beating the cr@p out of the lawyer and says, "Do you want me to stop or just slow down?"
A while ago, I also changed my mind on a more important matter - gay marriage.
I always believe that gay and lesbian couples (I will use "gay" to refer to both in the rest of this post) should have the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples if they so choose. I thought that can be achieved by the recognition of civil unions, and that marriage can remain as a union between a man and a woman.
As I read more about this issue I started questioning my stance. What is the basis of my objection? I am not a Christian so I don't subscribe to any of the Bible-based objections. In any case I see marriage as a social institution not a religious one. I don't object to gay couples having kids either*.
(*You can read about studies on children of same-sex parents here and here.)
It all boils down to "tradition", the term people use when there is no good reason against change.
I thought about the issue from the other side - what marriage mean to gay people. The word "marriage" embodies so much more than a legal status. It captures the love and commitment that two people have for each other, to declare to the world that they will spend the rest of their lives together in a loving relationship. That's what marriage really means - not a piece of paper, not the legal entitlements. Does the sex of the two people matter? Of course it doesn't!
Photo: My Wedding Cake by Mark & the Zebra
I'm now a strong supporter of gay marriage. It frustrates me that our government is so afraid of the reaction of the vocal minority that it is not carrying out the wishes of the (quieter) majority.
I believe being open-minded is one of the most important human attributes. Circumstances change, our view of the world changes, and it is important to constantly reassess our stance, and not be afraid to change our minds when the positives from a change outweigh the negatives. In fact, it is liberating.
There are people with ideas and opinions that I find unreasonable or even offensive, but they don't scare me as much as people that are so closed-minded they just can't change their views.