Friday, October 10, 2008

Realizing Who You Are Not

Photograph by Stephen Savoia (NY Times)

This week's quote is from NY Times Life's Work columnist Lisa Belkin. In an article titled "Palin Talk", Belkin explores how McCain's choice of VP has "put our own work-family choices on the table." The last line in particular is the one that struck me:
There [is] a hunger and a fury in the conversation about Palin that hints at something deeper. . . . Our talking is part of an endless dance in which we move about in order to figure out where we stand. For what else is gossip but a roundabout way to explore social norms? And what landscape is more complicated to navigate than that of modern parenthood, where we often hold many contradictory opinions at once? Want to work but also want to stay home. Hate pacifiers and use them anyway. . . . In the end, I grudgingly admired [Palin's] fortitude and understood that her way was not mine. You often learn who you are by realizing who you are not.
While I'm on the subject of Sarah Palin and, by extension, the upcoming election, let me recommend a website designed to help voters sort out their gut reactions to the candidates from not only the candidates' records but how they claim they'll govern: (Disclosure: My son Ev is a researcher for the site.)


  1. Wow, this is a thinker. I will giving this lots of thought.

  2. I have been caught up in the Palin controversy as well. It has given me much to think about, not least of which is the idea that though I am and always have been a feminist, I believe that Sarah Palin is not. It actually pains me not to be able to support her.


  3. What most upsets me most about Palin--and there is plenty I'm upset about (not all of it rational)--is that she stood on a stage listening to her supporters yell out "kill him" and "terrorist" (referring to Obama)and didn't say a single word. I don't mind that Palin holds different positions than I do on almost every issue. Healthy debate is the underpinning of a strong democracy. But in a country that has seen four presidents assassinated (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley & Kennedy) and 15 assassination attempts, her fear-mongering is not only reprehensible, but dangerous.

    That's my two cents.

  4. She didn't just listen to them yell out such angry cries and allow it...she seemed to instigate them, which is what's most concerning to me.