selective focus photography of skunk



I was driving on the road and noticed a familiar scent coming through my air vents. You’ve probably smelled it before, yourself. I didn’t need to look for a small black and white animal to know that it was a skunk, which had emitted its odor for the world to smell.

As I drove further along the road, I noticed a small dead animal in the center of the road – and I had discovered the culprit of the odor. It was, in fact, a skunk.

When I got to a red light, a man came up to my window and asked me:

“Did you see that dead animal?”

“I swerved to miss it” I said.

“Do you believe it was a dog or a cat?” He asked.


“Sounds like you’re a dog person – so it must have been a dog” he stated.

“It wasn’t either…I smelled it. I saw it.”

“Well, then. You must have thought it was a cat – and you must be a cat person.”

“No, sir. I saw it with my own eyes and smelled it. It wasn’t either of those, and I’m neither a cat or a dog person. It was a skunk.”

“That’s not the question!” He persisted. “It HAD to have been a dog or a cat, because that’s what I asked you.”

End of story.

I share this story because it illustrates a fallacy within our culture. The divisive nature where sides must be picked – when, in fact, the two options given aren’t good options at all.

“Do you want diarrhea or vomit for dinner?”

Neither. I want a good, square meal.

“Are you republican or democrat?”

If you read through the headlines, I think that you’ll see there are a lot of really dividing topics with supports insisting you take one side or another. Failure to take their side equates you to somehow being opposed to their cause.

With an election around the corner, as well as international crisis that run rampant, I think it’s worth stating that there are people in the world who don’t pick a side because they see critical errors in both sides, and choose to refrain giving their unanimous support to one side or the other.

And no, you don’t need to pick a side when you wholly believe that both sides are full of hypocrisy, corruption, larceny, violence or bad behavior, any more than you need to choose whether or not the dead skunk on the road is a dog or a cat.

If somebody came up to you and asked if you’d rather eat a plate of vomit or a pile of diarrhea, you wouldn’t have to make a selection when it’s your right to walk away from the person, still standing there with warm plates of both ‘dish’.

I think there’s a tendency in our culture to take certain aspects of a topic and apply it to anything that looks like their origin point.

For example, I don’t believe that all Muslims are radical jihadists that blow themselves up as suicide bombers any more than I believe every Christian would somehow be a modern-day crusader. I don’t believe that every Jewish person is somehow a Zionist, or Buddhist a member of the Communist party.

Today, these associations are often given to people of different faith backgrounds, and the generalization simply isn’t accurate. I know this because I’ve met people within each practice of these religions that has a different point of view than the negative associations I just mentioned.

I don’t believe that the people who want to protect their families from violence are the same people that call for the death and destruction of other people groups, and I think it’s a fallacy to do so.

Asking the color “Green” if it’s black or white will never change its true nature, for example.

It takes a certain level of intellect to be able to look at people of different backgrounds, races, religion or political affiliation and not want to somehow lump them into simple buckets that are easier to understand than a complex human dynamic. Yet, that sort of thought process isn’t what gets modern day humans to turn on their television sets and continue to feed the media machine.

If you recall 9/11, you’ll remember the great rallying cry of patriotism that ensued from our country – while The Patriot Act (hello, government!) quietly passed, which deprived every single U.S. citizen of a great measure of privacy.

How? Because it gave the government full authority to monitor every single form of communication that people use, aside from in-person conversation.

“This is done for your protection”

No, it isn’t. I don’t buy that lie.

The media portrayed Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist. What most people don’t know about Bin Laden is that he privately subsidized a large number of Afghani farmers who had chosen to grow Opium rather than food.

Here’s what happened:

Farmers struggled to put food on the table by growing regular crops, and instead turned to growing opium because it paid them exponentially more. Selling the illicit substance gave them the money they needed in order to survive.

Well, somebody stepped in to pay them to grow legitimate crops of food, rather than opium. Guess who?

What happened? The U.S. supply of heroin began to lack its primary ingredient, because one of its biggest suppliers got pinched.

Queue 9/11.

What happens when an addict gets their supply taken away? They do anything they can in order to get their fix – or something stronger.

Well, that ‘something stronger’ came by the way of Fentynyl, which is an artificial opioid, and 50-100 times stronger than old-fashioned heroin.

Once people got hooked on ‘fetty’ there was no longer a need to have a big supply of opium, which removed the need for U.S. control of Afghanistan.

Don’t believe me? Do your homework, and tell me whether or not the skunk you smell is a cat or a dog.

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