Not everyone is going to have the same views on everything all the time. In fact, I dare you to try to find one friend, lover, or relative with whom you never disagree, ever. That kind of a “perfect” match doesn’t exist anywhere in life, and I wouldn’t consider it truly “perfect” if it did. Differences between individuals is what makes life what it is – colorful.
Where some people get lost is in thinking that a difference means being oppositional. I have said this before, and will keep saying it, but I am always amazed that anyone is afraid to discuss things related to politics and religion. Why? Are you afraid that having a different view than someone else will make one of you implode? It’s not acceptable to share ideas and simply respect the other person having a different experience or take on it? It’s really interesting that some people take a more passive-aggressive path on this, and rather than simply state “this is how I feel”, they would rather become irritated and then fall silent. Silence speaks volumes, my friends, and not all of it is nice. If I am simply presenting what I see in something, or sharing what my experience with it has been, why is that offensive to someone with a different experience? Why can people not just accept it for what it is and stay friendly?
I’ll give you an example. I don’t approve of recreational use of marijuana (or tobacco, for that matter). Marijuana has medical applications, and tobacco is ceremonial in my culture. That said, I don’t hiss at people when they light up a cigarette, and I don’t hunt for recreational tokers to insult. I am capable of expressing how I feel about it, living MY life according to it, and letting others do as they do. If it harm none. I’m not going to tell someone it’s okay to drive drunk, because obviously that endangers them and others. Common sense. Interestingly enough however… many that defend recreational use are really very pissy about it. I don’t have a better word, sorry. If you feel you are in the right, then why are you so defensive about it? Why do you have to loudly, repeatedly declare that you disagree? Just say how you view it in a normal tone without the agitation already. That’s not difficult. I run into this over and over on various topics. To me it is disheartening. I enjoy the few friends I have that can converse without condemnation, but they are very few. In most cases I have also found that they never bothered to consider the reasons behind my views on any one thing. There is a perspective they are missing, and unable to hear it.. perhaps colored by their own experiences but none the less it is a blind spot. Once you’ve thrown up a wall of thorns about it, then I am not able to say anything else. I think there is a misconception that being open-minded on a topic means you are willing to change your beliefs. It doesn’t. It just means accept the other person’s experience as their own without judging it. There are more things in heaven and earth than any one person can know. Life is about exploring them.
Some things are personal choices. You never know why an individual is living their life the way they are, not really. You can’t be inside their head. Cultures have important nuances as well. If you’re kind and accepting, they might just share a piece of it with you though. When I see that I can trust someone, I sure try to. I also get burned a lot when people hit some point where they realize there is something unexpected in the picture. A real friendship however… is one where those unexpected things we learn about someone don’t matter. It has to be a two-way street. Differing views don’t erase the rest of the foundation in any relationship. If you never had a varied thought from the people you talk to daily, you would have nothing to discuss. That is the very definition of boring and pointless.
Posted on October 15, 2013, in General Blather, Things That Make You Go... AAAaaaauuuggghhh!!! and tagged Friendship, Love, Lupus, Opinions, Politics & Religion, Reinventing Yourself, Respect, Tala Smith. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.