Thursday, August 30, 2012

Down to business.

With elections right around the corner, I figure there's going to be tons of debating, loads of opinions, and a bunch of people thinking that they're right about what they believe in.
More power to you. Seriously. I think it's cool when people are interested in politics and what's going on in our country. It's a good thing to have a hold on. 

I was born in Africa and primarily raised in California. I went to a high school that was Republican/Conservative to the max. I knew their opinions and view points. I appreciated them. Growing up in San Francisco helped balance out the right wing perspective education I was receiving as well.  I then proceeded to have my first semester at SFSU, which was at the complete other side of the spectrum. Transitioning from that, I went to Missouri and then to Massachusetts. Both of those colleges being very Conservatively based as well. 

My dad is a Democrat and my mom is a Republican. I've heard both sides. I've seen both sides in action. I love both of my parents so much. I hear them discussing what they think in terms of politics often. It's not an unspoken rule in our home. We're open about what we believe politically.

So, my perspective might just be a tad different then yours. I have nothing against you having an opinion. Please, go for it. What I have an issue with is the blatant attacking or maybe the the haughtiness that comes alongside of thinking that your way is the right and only way. This is what aggravates me above anything else. The almost ... hate that comes alongside experiencing someone in a different party. The harsh abuse of words that we use, and how quickly offended we become and estranged from one another that makes us. 

I have seen both sides attacking the other, and I have also seen how hurtful it is. I've felt defensive of both sides, since my family is rooted in both. I've defended cases to both the right and the left and I've seen it do nothing but divide. But seriously, can you listen for a second?

I'm glad you have an opinion.
I'm glad you think you've done your research. 
I'm glad you believe in something.
But do you think yelling and fighting and pushing it in other people's faces makes them want to have anything to do with you? 
It doesn't.

I was in a high school class and they were debating abortion. Since all the Republicans were speaking up, the discussion really was basically gaining up on the other side without them being there to defend themselves. I'll never forget when a member of my class raised his hand and asked why abortion was wrong. It was a simple question, and he was being so genuine. The members of the discussion immediately attacked him. They responded in harsh words and gasps. They pretty much made sure he would never ask another question again. 
This frustrated me. 
When a classroom full of one party gains up on the other party, it frustrates me. 
They can't defend themselves. They're not actually there. How is that ok? 
And of course you'll be right - there's no opposition.
I've had a few of these experiences in college as well.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't lose yourself in something that can cut off other people so recklessly, and I would even dare to say foolishly. When you push your beliefs so angrily and obnoxiously in people's faces it honestly makes you unattractive. 
What's attractive?
An individual mind who isn't flustered because someone believes something that is different from their beliefs politically or who isn't offended because someone chooses to side with a different party even though they have the same faith.
I call these people mature. 

So here I am, at a Bible college on the East Coast during election time and I've already heard the debates and heat beginning. It's not bad. But bashing... it's not attractive. If I choose to believe something different then you, like who I think should win the election, will you treat me differently? Will you get angry at me and attack me without hearing me out? Will you try to make me believe what you believe even though maybe I've thought through what I believe too? 
And maybe you won't understand over your opinions and strong viewpoints. 
But I can't help but wondering that if we all just listened for a minute to what other people were trying to communicate to us, maybe our world would be a little less chaotic and more understanding. Maybe people wouldn't feel so cut off, because you're actually giving them a chance. 

It's just a bunch of jumbled thoughts from an African-Californian who hates being pigeon-holed and attacked because I grew up in a different environment then you, and believe something different then every other typical, right winged Conservative who goes to a Bible college. 

Sorry for the mouthful. Keeping it real.

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