Thursday, April 23, 2009

My dad says I should be a lawyer

My sister's a lawyer, so I'm categorically opposed to the idea, of course.

But it's interesting what dad sees in me. My sister was a criminal prosecutor for years before she moved into corporate law and now works on all of those corporate bankruptcy cases you hear about on the news.

My dad doesn't see that kind of law for me. He thinks I should be a defense attorney. I find this odd because I have no particular affiliation for the criminal element. He thinks though that I am a champion for the underdog.

I suppose a part of me is. I mean, who doesn't get swept away in any sort of David vs Goliath story? But I think the underdog thing is just what he sees. What I see in myself is a championing of equality.

Our lives are built on the faulty premise that fairness exists. We're all given the same chances. Justice is blind. All men are created equal. It's a load of bull, and I'm not afraid to call it. (At least, not within the confines of my living room.)

I have no affinity for argument. It is usually pointless outside of the confines of a courtroom. In the real world, no one changes what they believe. They just dig their heels in and argue each other into the ground. And I have no interest in trying to change someone's mind. If you choose not to open yourself up to another opinion, that's your life. Ignorance is a choice. Sometimes its even a choice I make for myself. But I don't really care if you change your mind, it won't make a difference to my life.

It so happens, in this world, the underdog is often given the shaft. The Impersonal Big Monolith company is usually wielding the power. That doesn't make either side right or wrong. It just means that I'm more likely to hear one side over another and I've trained myself to ask what's the other half of this story?

I have also learned, through the blessings of my advanced degree, how to critically analyze what I am given to search for the unspoken bits--the holes, the assumptions. They say there are three sides to every story, I contend there are four; Party A, Party B, the Truth and what the listener chooses to hear.

Most of us will listen to the side that has gained our allegiance, I try to listen to it all. That way, the rules and exceptions can be applied across the board. I don't have a bleeding liberal heart, I have a working, thinking mind. I can see behind spin and PR and sensationalistic outrage on both sides of an argument. My only question is, is that fair?

Usually, it isn't.

Currently reading: B is for Burglar
Currently reading: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot

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