There Are Two Sides To Every Question Essay

There is a story told in verse about that curious kind of lizard called the chameleon. Two friends talking about it almost quarreled about its colour, one saying it was blue and the other swearing it was green. While they were arguing, a third man joined them and he said they were both wrong. He had caught a chameleon the night before, and it was black. All three went to see it; but when its captor took it out of the box where he had put it, lo! and behold it was not blue, or green, or black, but white!

The explanation, of course, was that a chameleon has the stranger power of changing its colour to suit its surroundings. So at one time it may appear blue, at another green, at another black, and at another white. So all were right, and at the same time wrong.

In the same way truth is many-side and different people see different sides. so every question has at least two sides. Narrow- minded people can see only one side; and it take a broad-minded man to see both.
Consider the different ways in which different people will look at a social problem, say poverty. Some will say that poverty is entirely due to laziness, thriftlessness or strong drink. Let the poor work and save and keep sober, and there will be no more poverty.

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Other people will point out that idleness, thriftlessness and drunkenness are themselves the result of poverty — the wretched circumstances in which the poor are brought up. So one party says. change the man and he will change his surroundings and the other says, change the surroundings and you will change the man. And then they quarrel and fight. Yet both are right; each sees one side of the question, but only one. A wise and broad-minded reformer will see both, and work both for the individual and for social reform.

Or, take politics. In most democratic countries there are two great parties, which correspond to the Conservatives and Liberals or Progressives in England. The Conservative wants to keep (“conserve”) things as they are, fearing that any change will do more harm than good; the Liberal stands for reform, change and progress.

Now both are in a way right. Because no social organisation is perfect, we must reform abuses, adopt better methods, and progress to better things. But it has often happened (as in the French Revolution) that, if people are in too great a hurry to make progress. they destroy many good institutions with the bad, and even wreck the whole constitution. But narrow-minded politicians of different views do not see this; and so, each seeing only his side of they question, the fight. A real statesman sees both.

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