"Now standing in the middle has its advantages and disadvantages. Common sense tends to pull people to the middle of issues, so those standing in the middle usually have peer support. Those in the middle, however, don't have the luxury of having to defend only a single flank - they get shot at from both sides." - Ric Machuga, In Defense of the Soul, What It Means to Be HumanThis was only a passing remark made in the book I am currently reading, but it caught my eye because the older I get the more often find myself occupying the middle ground on so many issues.
Standing in the middle is what often happens when you give both sides of a matter a fair listen. Both sides usually have at least part of the matter right. If to the left of you the right hand is correct, you take hold of it. If to the right the left hand holds truth, you take hold of that. Next thing you know you're standing between the two, holding hands with them both.
A happy picture, is it not? You have a friend on either side. But what you also have on either side is the enemy of the other. You in the middle bear a heavy weight of responsibility. You are what stands between the rivals and their mutual destruction. You represent the common ground and the potential for peace. Those on either side of you have a couple of choices. They can, if they respect you, each respect what you see in the other and let you help bridge the gap, or they can continue to tear each other apart and destroy you in the process.