Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shades of Gray

I'm back in the throws of school.  It's a good semester, but a busy one.  I mean, I'm at school almost every day of the week right now.  How did that happen?

I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is a terrible place for political poking.  I post  things with the idea of starting conversation on both sides; what happens instead is everyone gets so worked up over what they believe and over the topic that it becomes a posting war of sorts.  It's like grown people have forgotten how to debate and articulate their ideas.  You know, don't attack the people, attack the issues; listen to both sides and put out facts to back your claims.

I'm rather disappointed, actually.

A friend of mine brought up a good point, which is that if you don't read or research the opposition of your view point, you become an extremist.  While the right side of issues typically has the reputation of being extremists, it also goes for the left.  I realize there have been times where I've probably come across as a liberal extremist, and I apologize if that is the case cause that has never been my goal.

Rather, I write and post and read to start conversation.  I think it's important that both parties and sides be able to have rational discussion about hot topics.  If we don't, then we'll never find middle ground.  I don't want the left side to be so sure they're right that they shoot down the right; I don't want the right to be so convinced that theirs is the only way that they refuse to look at the left.

It's like science.  I was raised Christian.  Growing up, I went to church and was taught all about God and Jesus and the Bible.  But I was also encouraged to learn both about Creationsim and Darwinism through being homeschooled.  The reason for this was so that I could formulate my own opinion - not the church opinion, not my parents' opinion, but my own opinion and beliefs.

I want that for the world.  I want us to not be so comfortable in our own little bubbles that we forget there is more out there.  I personally try to read everything that comes my way - world religions, fundamentalist things, liberal things.  Heck, I've even read part of Hitler's book just so I could see what made him the way he was.  Knowledge is not the enemy. 

When you write a paper for college, you have a thesis.  But in a really strong paper, you also have an anti thesis to show that you understand the flaws in your argument and that you understand the opposing view.  Life is a lot like that.  You can't back your own things unless you know what the other side thinks too.

It's okay to be passionate about things.  I know I am.  But it's also important to respect the opinions of those who differ from you, even if you don't agree with them.  When I post things, I read all the feedback.  I try to see where everyone is coming from.

Because isn't that what makes this country great?  That you can have opinions and that you can voice them, but that you can also learn about everyone and everything else?

Just a thought.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good quote I heard from a man I respect, "If Ignorance is bliss, why are so many people unhappy?".