Looka here, folks….

We hear about how 90 percent or better of any group are the rule followers – the good guys and girls – the “Honest Abes’ in the bunch – those who try to be good, common-sense citizens.

When Minnesota was dealing with the Voter ID issue last fall, most voters were considered upright and honest by those on both sides of the issue…. And we’re talking about maybe 99 percent of the voting population here are clean, law-abiding folks.  We do have the cheats and those who would try to game the system.

Look at the driving habits.  When you consider how many miles are driven by so many drivers every year, I would hazard a guess that there are more than 90 percent good and safe drivers out there.  The same goes for boaters and snowmobilers and kayakers and motorcyclists.  There are the road ragers and the road hogs and the drinking-and-drive folks.

Do you agree that most men and women you know are doing their level best to be the best husbands and fathers and mothers and wives and sisters and brothers they can possibly be?  Yes, of course, there are the slackers – but I can almost guarantee you that if you make a list of all the people you know who are working hard at it, and those who aren’t, the hard-working list is SO much longer than your slacker list.

What about church goers?  In my quiet, Lutheran world, when I scan the pews on a Sunday morning, I don’t see a heretic in the bunch – or an overzealous soul.  I’m guessing the same exists in whatever church you choose to attend.  .  Say what you want about the Catholics, the Protestants, the Mormons, the Buddhists, the Islam – The well intended far outweigh the rest.  Oh yes, we have the Westwood Church types, but when it comes down to it, that’s the one single church.

I even think the media has the same percentages of fair and honorable journalists… especially if you include the local talent we see on TV and listen to on radio.  For example, I respect the anchors on the TV stations out of Minneapolis that I watch regularly.  I trust them with my news, weather and sports.  Even some of the news talk shows offer balanced discussion on the most part.  There are the extreme reports that populate both the conservative and liberal side of reporting, but all in all, their numbers are few when you look at the whole picture.

Even in the world of our celebrities, I believe most are just folks who do what they do.  They make their music, they produce their TV shows or their films, and leave it at that.  We have our extremists just like in the news journalist world, but we can probably use one hand each to list those who use their celebrity to promote their conservative or liberal opinions.

In the medical field, I would think the ‘quacks’ are far outnumbered by the work-a-day doctors and nurses who travel the halls of the hospitals and clinics every day.  The same goes for the lawyers and other professionals like that.   I will even dare to say that sitting elected officials are mostly trying to do their jobs…. from the city council members to the state representatives, and even to the federal level folks.

Teachers?  Same deal.  In thirty-four years of teaching, I can honestly say that there were only 2 teachers who really had no business being in teaching – and I actually sat and thought about how many folks I’ve taught with… and I can say this because at one time in my career, I probably could have been in that category myself.  As for students, that very familiar 90 percent or better fits- most kids will listen, do the work, follow the rules – its that remaining 10 percent that cause 90 percent of the problems.

How many of these groups do you belong to?  If you think about it, you probably could be part of a good many of these groups.  You might be a gun totin’ Baptist teacher.  You might be a Chevy driving, conservative news reporter for a local newspaper.

My point, dear friends?  Whether it be a career group, a philosophical group, a hobby group, or some statistically similar grouping, most of us are doing our jobs, are hanging in there, and want to see the best for everyone out there.

Let us do what we can to remember that we have more in common with each other than we do with the extremes out there.  When you find yourself getting excited about an issue – when you find yourself ready to respond so angrily, remember that we are so much more alike than we are different.