Recently I spent quite a bit of time in the company of people whom I love very much and I think that love is returned. The fly in the ointment is that all of these people are ardent opponents of everything I hold to be true when it comes to what they call ‘politics’. This has not been a problem in the past but with the election of our current president these people seem to be looking for a fight with me.
Let me just say that I do not believe that they will ever change their views. My political views are based on my religious views and those views lean towards a liberal (there, I said it!) view of social justice issues. I believe in living your religion rather than talking about it so I feel no need to throw out snarky remarks I know they will disagree with to see if they will rise to the bait. It is very hard to have an enjoyable family conversation when people want to fish in troubled waters. I see bitterness, anger, and a compulsion to fight the other point of view into submission. I don’t feel any compulsion to do the same and therein lies the problem.
I believe that most people listen only to opinions that agree with their own. I also believe that most people accept opinions they agree with as fact. Therein lies the problem that leads to my problem with both the liberals and conservatives in my family.
The older I get the less I am sure that I ‘know’ much at all. I know that I am no better than anybody else. I know that I have had some life chances that others have not had. I know that being born on third base does not mean you hit a triple. I know that I am my brother’s keeper. Finally I know about poison. Listening to people who hate, who want you to hate, and mindlessly repeating that hate is poisonous. What I know about hate and poison is that hating is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. I was not put here to hate and I refuse to participate in hating no matter how much others think that I should.