I read a post yesterday on facebook from a woman who said she was not going to voice her political opinions any more. She was tired of the contention they caused.....so she was done.
Some people commented that they understood and were supporting her decision, others said her opinion counted to them and they would miss her contribution. I wrote to her and essentially told her, "Hale No!!"
(That is southern for hell no....just saying) I went on to say in my very subtle manner that we cannot be quiet. The first thing attorneys do is write an opposition letter (a fact I first learned in college and have used in my private life far too often according to my husband).
Don't we have to know other folks opinions? Do you want to live in a world where everyone agrees with you? Of course not....learning depends on various points of view, in fact many points of view. I read articles and columns from people who have the exact opposite opinion of mine. I want to know what other people are thinking and why.
My mother and I disagreed vehemently about abortion. I couldn't understand how anyone could think it was OK except in extreme cases, and she thought it was perfectly justified. She had been with a friend who died from a botched abortion....that experience never left her. I have friends who had selfish abortions who could not forgive themselves...that experience has never left me.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Can it be that we have opinions, good ones, and leave it at that?
Do we have to be right? Have you ever had a friend who wouldn't leave it alone until they convinced you they were right? Don't you want to spray them with a hose? And every time they start talking again, just spray them again?
That is probably one of the hardest thing to overcome, our need to be right. It isn't pretty and you limit your crowd considerably. Take your Shih Tzu to the poodle club and see how comfortable you are when they start talking about how poodles are the only dog to have.
So in this charged political season don't hide your opinions. If someone comes up with a compelling argument that changes your mind, be open to it. You aren't flip flopping if you study something out and make an intelligent change.
I have dear, dear friends who are the exact opposite of me on many issues, but we are still friends. Do I have to convert them to my way of thinking to continue our friendship? Absolutely not.
Don't be on the sidelines this year,,,,,regardless of who you vote for, vote. And be passionate....I hope you trust your candidate and that he or she deserves your vote. Explore all angles of your issues...and ask a million questions. I live in Nevada...our state is the hardest hit by everything. Highest unemployment and highest foreclosures in the country. And there is no work coming. Our schools are a disaster, and we have very little to offer anyone moving here. 340 days of sunshine and my smiling face is not enough, Our leadership has not taken an active role in getting us back on course....but guess what has occurred? The people who have stayed have reinvented themselves. They are starting businesses and in the long run, we will be stronger because of the hardships we have encountered. But government has not been the answer in our case. In fact, increasing unemployment benefits only exacerbated our local recession. People started their businesses later rather than sooner. I saw that as a waste of time and money. Personal opinion. Maybe people needed more time to realize they could climb out of their own morass. Could be.
But whatever your opinions are, don't be ashamed of them...don't hide your light just because you think it might cause a problem. You might be wrong....but you might be right too. And also don't think just because your friend is a fool for disagreeing with you about one thing that they will disagree with you on all things.
I rarely agree with Maureen Dowd...I think her brand of writing is caustic and often belittling. Mostly because we are on opposite sides of almost anything. However the columns she wrote about Jerry Sandusky are completely compelling. You can feel in her words the pain of his horrible crime, and she was brilliant in her assessment of what had occurred at Penn State. I was brought to tears as she wrote about the pain the vulnerable endure when they have no one to speak up for them.
We must speak up......do I have to bring Braveheart up again? When I start thinking I can't do it I bust out the Braveheart speech, pick up my flaming sword and go out and conquer the world!
I hope I have given you permission to take your thoughts out for a test drive...a little spin around the neighborhood. Our personal history writes our opinions today, don't apologize for how you feel, I am sure you have a good reason for it.
Be bold in your thinking...listen to all thoughts. The nonsense will wash away, good thought out opinions will resonant in your heart and mind. I don't want to think I can't throw my opinion in my blog just because I might offend someone. I love diversity, in fact....I say this all the time. "If everyone could make Pizza, who would fix the cars?"
Seriously...isn't that true?
You don't have to always "be right". Just be.