Thursday, March 28, 2013
How free are we?
There are a handful of things that make me undeniably uncomfortable. These include political discussions, religious conflict, racial remarks, and mosquito bites. Watching President Obama and Governor Romney's debates this past Fall made me so nervous I would start to sweat, and that was just sitting in front of the television. I would literally cover my eyes with a blanket and put my fingers in my ears because it caused me such visceral discomfort to watch and listen to the two of them. Listening to Andrew and his father discuss politics is so agonizing for me I have to go somewhere where I cannot hear them.
As anyone who is in any way linked to social media, who turns on their computer/television, or who steps foot outside of their home during the day is aware, this is a very important time in the history of our country. Big decisions are going to be made. Do I have opinions about the issue of equality? Absolutely. Am I going to share them with you? Absolutely not. Why not? because I don't want my comment box filled with nasty remarks one way or the other. You may think you know where I stand on the issue. I assure you, you have no idea.
A clean debate is something I can respect and appreciate. I feel, however, that debating, discussing, and respecting other peoples views, opinions and beliefs is something that the general population struggles with. I have read, listened to and watched people that I know and love tear down other people that I know and love because they do not agree on certain issues. Isn't that interesting? We want to be free to think and believe how we wish, but we do not want to allow those whose opinions differ from ours the same liberty.
Because of this, I go out of my way to avoid political discussions, or anything that feels as though it might result in argument, disagreement, or unkind words (unless of course the conversation revolves around which flavor of ice cream is superior, I'm all over that).
Perhaps it appears as though I am not proud of who I am, not sure of my own beliefs, or unwilling to stand up for what I believe. Untrue. I take advantage of every opportunity I have to tell people what I believe and why I believe it. However, if people are only asking in order to open the door to bash me, I see no reason to continue. I also bask in the opportunities that I have to learn more about other people and their beliefs. I am fascinated by religion, by lack of religion, and by peoples views on current issues.
Maybe I hope too much for a world where we can all skip around in the sunshine catching butterflies, riding unicorns and eating cupcakes all day long, but I wish we could have a little more respect for others all the while staying true to our own convictions. I wish we wouldn't be so quick to tell people they are wrong just because they think differently than we do. We may BE free, but do we FEEL free?