McClatchy DC has the article Commentary: Sen. Rob Portman’s gay marriage ‘change of heart’ by Leonard Pitts Jr.
But true compassion and leadership require the ability to look beyond the narrow confines of one’s own life, to project into someone else’s situation and to want for them what you’d want for your own. Portman’s inability to do that created hardship for an untold number of gay men and lesbians.
It never ceases to amaze me how the religiously oriented conservative Republicans can look into the mind of an imaginary God to figure out what he wants, but they cannot look into the mind of a fellow human being to figure out what he or she might want.
Perhaps my years of writing software, for other people to use, strengthened my ability to sometimes see the world through someone else’s eyes. Sometimes, when designing software, it takes just a little extra effort to make it possible for the user to do something with the software that you don’t immediately see the use for. An observer might come along (and often did) and say something like, “Why would someone ever want to be able to do that?” After years of helping people use my software, I often found them doing imaginative things with the features that I had put in that I could never have anticipated in advance. I guess this is not even being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It is the ability to realize that my own imagination might fall short of what someone else might be able to imagine. Unless there is a darn good reason, it is better not to close off opportunities that lead to freedom for someone else (or even yourself at another time).