Center: (v) to place in the middle
It’s an old joke, but since there are so many young folks around, I will venture to share it, with the aspiration that it might fall on fresh ears.
The story is that a gentleman from Kentucky found himself in a quandary when the Civil War broke out. He did not want to choose sides. He
discovered that the Union Army was clad in blue and those from Dixie had selected gray. Thinking himself a genius and desiring to place himself in the center, free of conflict, he put on blue pants for the Union, and a gray jacket as a tribute to the South.
When the two armies converged at his doorstep to determine his allegiance, the Union Army shot him in the shoulder and the Confederates shot him in the leg.
There is a belief that a center–a compromise or moderation–can be found in everything. It is an interesting theory which over the years has proven to be flawed.
There are some issues that cannot be mollified. They’re just too important.
- There can be no “Great Compromise” when it comes to slavery.
- There cannot be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military for the gay servicemen and women.
Sometimes we have to come down on one side or another.
Because sometimes a center is not a solution, but rather, an attempt to avoid one.