In boxing, the first gloves were strips of rawhide tied across the knuckles of Greek fighters circa 1500 BC. As the sport progressed, so did the intricacy and purpose of the gloves. In the mid 1800s, boxing gloves became a requirement for the sport. While early gloves evolved in padding and fit, most had laces that tightened around the wrist once the glove was in place. With the development of Velcro, however, came choices for the ring.

The biggest reason people choose Velcro is ease. Velcro allows the boxer to put gloves on unassisted, with no need for another person to be present. However, the fit is looser and less precise than laces. Laces allow for a unique fit versus the universality of Velcro, but must be tightened by another for them to be effective. It shows how the gloves, the symbol of the fight, are literally hinged on the help of others.

Much like boxers, reasonables lean on the hands of others to truly gear up for entering the political arena. Although boxers enter the ring alone, they do not enter without others who can back them up, hold them up, and encourage them to continue the fight. Just like boxers, reasonables need to break in their gloves, test their theories, and put practice into action. This isn’t easy work, nor is it something to be perfected. Perhaps refined, perhaps honed, but no fighter will ever face the same fight more than once, as no reasonable will enter the same argument more than once.

We are complex beings with droves of experiences, bookcases of stories, and myriad emotions. We are too big to be condensed and too small to be enlarged. We are the ultimate paradox. We are rarely fully predictable or fully erratic. We are, well, human. Fighting for what we believe to be right and good according to our own constructs, beliefs, or foundations. We are both David and Goliath, the fighter and the giant, swinging with confidence and trepidation. We are very rarely just one, and almost always both and everything in between. Because of that, it is hard to predict what will be in the ring, so instead of trying, it is best to learn a framework that is adaptable and agile, like a well trained boxer.

LACE UP is what reasonables do before entering the ring. They must LEARN, ASSESS, CONSIDER, and ENTER with the understanding that it is UP to us to engage. If we don’t, the echo chambers only continue to expand. Giving in or over to cynicism or the believe that our voice won’t be heard over the noise is complacency at its worst. If a boxer enters with indifference, she will be knocked out. If a boxer enters without a sense of curiosity, he can and will be blind-sighted by a well-placed punch. Reasonables don’t have to take on every fight, every criticism, every woe or wrong. Instead, they have to commit to the ones they care about.