Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Conscience of a Conservative

What is a conservative? I don't think I am a conservative but I sometimes wonder what the idea of a conservative is like. Let me tell you about it:

Longman dictionary says that a conservative means a person who dislikes changes. My definition of a conservative is a little different: Generally, a conservative has three principles of behavior, or beliefs.

(1) To love his or her own culture, custom and tradition

That's natural to what is called a conservative. There's always such a person no matter which part of the world he or she lives in. Such a person always says that he or she loves and tries to protect his or her own tradition.

(2) To be tolerant

When you meet someone who doesn't agree with you, if you blame him or her, you are not a conservative in my definition.

What a conservative is like is tolerance for disagreement or misunderstanding. I know if you are hard for someone to understand you feel bad with him or her. But try to keep calm and to listen to him or her because someone who doesn't agree with you probably has a different point of view from you that might sometimes help you broaden your outlook. (It is difficult to keep calm when you are harshly blamed. That's our nature!)

A conservative is basically not a violent one, rather a gentle and kind one in this way.

(3) To know that changes are sometimes needed

"Change to remain the same!" Ichiro Ozawa, a politician of the Democratic Party, now a ruling party in Japan, likes this phrase. Ozawa has been considered to be and called a neoconservative, who believes the power and dynamism of freedom. I like this phrase too.

When we see the world in which we live changing fast, we should not stick to our own opinion or idea. We should first rather learn how the world is changing and what is changing in the world. And then if we feel the need to change the way in which we behave due to changing social and economic surroundings, we should try to change our idea, or if needed, ourselves to remain the same as what we are and how we live on.

Change is not always a good choice, though. We should think of the effect of the change we make on our life and society. I know it's a difficult task. It's not a simple matter of cost-benefit analysis. It can be said that it's a great decision to make a change in our present life and society.

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