Binary Problem

11 Feb

You’re either with us or against us.

Friend or foe.

Good or bad.

Pro or anti.

Is there no middle ground? Why do people feel inclined to pick a side. So many political values, morals, opinions and beliefs are based on dichotomies and binaries where they can’t seem to take the valid points from each side to create a fine balance.

Let’s take the sensitive subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides are clearly far from perfect, but they have a strong and legitimate bond with the country they live in. Palestinians and Israelis along with those who become (or think they become) informed on the issue feel the need to pick one side to completely defend it while scrutinizing the other. Although some groups fight for accurate representation and unity, the story we often hear is of hatred and distaste for either side. Is this the fault of the media? Perhaps. Not that they aren’t reporting objectively (though in some cases they definitely are not), but non governmental peace attempts just aren’t newsworthy enough to make front page (but may fluff the Life section).

Normally, if you disagree with someone, it’s hard to recognize that you’ve done them wrong. The boldest and most honourable thing to do is admit your fault, yet this move is unfavorable because it is equated with admitting weakness. Same goes for holding an opinion, yet true nobility, in my eyes, is saying “I agree with you on this point, but think about this and this….”

Perhaps if people were willing to compromise, there would be less time wasted on who is wrong and who is right (because we’ll never know) and more time given to finding common ground.

Then again, there comes a time when a line needs to be drawn. Should we compromise same-sex marriage, or abortions? Sometimes the standard of morality has to be set to comply with the rule of law and the needs of a society. Fortunately in a democracy, people are able to lobby, vote and protest to bring forth change.

Although it’s hard to find your way through gray area, it’s important, at least, to recognize that there exists a space beyond black and white.

One Response to “Binary Problem”


  1. An Unjustly Affair « Romi Says -

    […] written before on the danger of living in extremities. What sickens me is when these beliefs infringe on the […]

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