When the Left is Right. ~ Edith Lazenby

Via Edie Lazenby
on Aug 14, 2012
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Is the Right Wrong?

What makes the left right and the right wrong? I ask myself this often when sharing with my peers who all tend to be to the left of things, except my oldest friend, who is not. Yet we can discuss anything and everything. One my mentors says we are having peace talks. It works because the foundation is love and respect.

Yet here among my peers, if I say someone is evangelical they are dismissed in a breath. If I question the leadership of our president, am I endorsing the only other option we have? Though we have the freedom here to say what we think and reflect openly, what purpose does it serve if we are only discussing with those who support or agree with what we say?

On the way home tonight I heard some banter from both parties in this election year. In my very humble opinion, it seems like it does not matter who runs; the party platform requires certain things to be said every time. When that does not work we witness the blame-game.

Passion and Fire

I find my left wing peers are often more narrow in their thinking than my 86-year-old father. I don’t always agree with him, but I respect his passion and fire. He brings years of experience to the table and much knowledge.

I don’t think war is good for anyone. I don’t interpret the Bible literally. Yet, war is a reality and the Bible is an incredible book documenting the development of a people in the Old Testament and the seeds of Christianity in the New Testament.

I value passion wherever I find it if it is not blind and self-serving.

I coined a phrase a long time ago: Need is desire’s best liar. What is this need to be right? If leftist thinkers are biased against individuals without ever knowing them or cannot even consider other options, passing judgment on the basis of belief, then aren’t we doing exactly what some right wing thinkers do to us? What happens to dialogue and respect?

Humanity’s Mirror

I believe gay marriage is a civil right. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I think the degree of humanity is reflected with how a society takes care of the less fortunate and the disabled.

I stopped eating meat this year. As I learn more about factory farming, I am appalled at what is going on here and around the world.

My bumper sticker says: Compassion is the best revenge.

What if we, as a group, could honor difference for what it is? I love this country with all its faults.

I have recently taken to watching foreign films. In some parts of the world genocide is a reality. War is not part of my daily reality. Yet many in this nation struggle to find food and shelter every day.

Helping Our Own

I believe in helping and did community service when I had that commodity called spare time. Why do so many here go all over the world where yes, help is needed, but what about our own, the children without homes, the mentally ill, the addicted, the raped, the illiterate? Why don’t more people work to help our own? This country is full of compassion. Why don’t we look at the compassion that takes us elsewhere and plant it here?

I call myself a humanist. As a yoga instructor, individuals who think more to the left than the right surround me. I am a lousy activist, though grateful many are called to it. I write poems. My goal is kindness, though I fall short more often than I care to consider. I believe most people do their best most of the time.

But who are we to think right is wrong or more narrow without considering the potential to learn? Some right wing people do have strong values and care deeply for others just as the left wing thinkers do. We all need to open our hearts, maintain respect, and listen to the heart. This is a great country.  I don’t know that it is the best but it is mine.

The “Lucky,” good and bad

Am I well informed? No I am not. I am working on it. I just know that liberals can be just as judgmental in their thinking as conservatives. I know what I think to be right and good. But life is not fair. I learned that when I was nine-years-old: we had a babysitter and I got in trouble though my brother misbehaved as well and I realized nothing I said would make a difference. It was not fair. I understood then that life is not fair. Many things happen to all of us, some good, some bad.

There are wars. There is poverty. Tragedy happens. Wonderful things happen. Douglas Brooks calls it the “Lucky” and some times the luck is good and some times it is bad. An open mind comes from an open heart. The left can be more right than the right, and you can take that metaphor on all levels.


I am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC, and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was 9 years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write and teach because I love it. I tell my students: do it because you can. I believe in creating opportunity and in helping. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate.

My blog and website: www.edieyoga.wordpress.com



Editor: Brianna Bemel


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About Edie Lazenby

Edith Lazenby's first love is poetry. Her second is yoga. Life unrolls in ways she could have never have imagined. She loves to love and live life daringly. Leap and the net will appear is how the saying goes but they don't tell you what to do after it disappears. Edith lives in Baltimore with her cat, Cucumber. She works all the time, it seems, these days. Life is good. Blessings are many.


16 Responses to “When the Left is Right. ~ Edith Lazenby”

  1. YogaForLiberty says:

    Nice post.

    Personally, I sympathize a little more with the right, just because I see them as greater victims of the system. We need to transcend the left/right paradigm and not identify with either side. We should look at politics through the lens of ahimsa, and see that both sides leave something to be desired. It should be our goal as yogis, to abstain from the ritual of elections, and make it our campaign to vote in every moment.

  2. Edie says:

    Well said! Thank you.

  3. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Very nice, Edie! As a libertarian (therefore neither left nor right but something altogether different) I have an advantage, at least on the issue at hand. As a non-participant in the Great Left-Right Culture War, it's easier for me to see the humanity in each side. For people who do identify with one side or the other, seeing good in the other seems to be a very high hurdle to jump.

    There's an old aphorism which I'm sure some of you have heard:

    If you aren't a liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If you aren't a conservative when you are old, you have no brain.

    That one's a bit famous but here's another one, not so famous, that I like even more:

    Liberals should define the problems and conservatives should solve them.

    This recognizes both the humanity and rightness of each side. If only conservatives could recognize that liberals often have a better insight on what the problems are! If only liberals could recognize that conservatives often have better real-world understanding about how to solve problems! Of course it will never happen. Both sides are ABSOLUTELY certain that they are right on both naming the problems and finding the solutions, and that the other side is ignorant, prejudiced, and uncaring (if the 'other' is conservative) or foolish, lazy, and confused (if the 'other' is liberal).

    Btw, I've run this aphorism by those here at Ele, where most people are liberal, and other places where most people are conservative. I haven't gotten a single agreement, not even a mild "Hmm, maybe" let alone a "Great insight!" The merging of left and right along these lines clearly isn't going to happen. Just too much wrong with that evil other for them to be trusted with anything!

  4. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Whaddaya know! I read this comment before launching into my own and, like Edie, thought it well said. But didn't pay attention to the writer. After posting my own, I looked up and realized, it's Y4L, a fellow libertarian yogi. If peace is the heart of both libertarianism and yoga, I guess it makes sense that sympathy for Edie's position would come from two libertarian yogis.

  5. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Enlightened.

  6. edieyoga says:


  7. edieyoga says:

    Actually I like what you say…and look forward to engaging my dad and sharing it with him. If conservatives saw the problems liberals see and used their savy to solve them….what a great idea…I listened to the campaign trail again today. No one says anything new it seems.
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful reply.

  8. slsimms says:

    Great job Edith! Dug it!

  9. edieyoga says:

    Thanks so much!!!

  10. Mark Ledbetter says:

    "What a great idea"

    Really? Ya mean it? You are the first who has said so, and there are literally hundreds of people I have run this idea by. Congrats. I'm curious what your dad will say. Now, if someone would just tell me who came up with this aphorism in the first place. I'd like to give him/her credit but my mind is a leaky sieve. Just can't remember.

  11. edieyoga says:

    I'll let you know what he says. Am on my first cup of coffee and want him to have his before I call.
    Yes, I mean it.

  12. edieyoga says:

    Dad liked it but comment was a lot of folk may not agree…but you knew that…

  13. Kathy says:

    Wonderful article – I've been pondering the current debate and bemoaning the end of civility. I think that is what's missing – civility, the courtesy to listen and then to respond respectfully. The left wing dismisses the right as being ignorant and heartless. The right dismisses the left as being bleeding heart spendthrifts…..and all from the safety and anonymity of their laptops. That's where the most atrocious behavior occurs.

    I can't help but wonder if the fact that we are a mobile society has something to do with this behavior. Insulting someone, calling them a troll or a baby killer or a nazi is fine if you don't know who they are and will never see them on a daily basis.

  14. edieyoga says:

    Good point…! It is impersonal and safe. I think if people would consider content, step away from personal interest and look at what is best for all, for the country, and stop trying to please or be right. We all have a lot to offer, left and right and the middle ground. And we cannot all benefit from everything…We have to be willing to give a little…Thanks for your comments.

  15. Mark Ledbetter says:

    LOL, yep I know it well. All the best to you and your dad.