Thursday, June 02, 2011

One Strong Belief ...

Today is Day 3. Today's prompt is from Buster Benson.

"It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

Wow, Buster. That's one hell of a prompt.

And the topic that immediately springs to mind is "religion," but I have purposely never written that post.

And the more I mull, the more I realize that this prompt is a minefield.

What "strong belief" that isn't shared by most in my circle won't inflame someone by my writing about it? A blog doesn't seem like the best place to broach any of those subjects.

I hold views different from others I know. I also don't discuss many of those views with those people, just as I appreciate it that they don't discuss many of their views with me.

Which isn't nearly as ostrich-like as it sounds. Obviously, the topics have been discussed to some degree. Enough for us to understand that our views are very divergent and neither is going to change the other's mind.

Strong beliefs do not arise from weak topics. The best flavor of ice cream, the cutest breed of puppy are not topics that repel us into opposite corners.

But politics and religion? I think it's often best to bite one's tongue. Not with everyone, mind you. I've tested the waters. I know who is up for a spirited discussion and who will not be convinced of any other view.

I've spoken up from time to time, gotten others to stop shopping at certain merchants, pushed recycling, small things.

But on the big things, I mostly stay silent. Often out of respect. One of the staunchest Republicans in my family is in his 80s. He believes what he believes. No amount of argument from me will change his mind. And I love him and I like him, so I let it lie. He doesn't go there. I don't go there. We talk about safe things.


Anonymous Dave said...

"One of the staunchest Republicans in my family is in his 80s. He believes what he believes."

And you are free to believe what you believe and expect others to respect you the way you respect him.

You are right about politics and religion.

I do not believe we are all created equal in many ways. And that it is the duty of the intellectually and physically stronger members of society to help and protect those who don't share those attributes. We are equal in our rights but, unfortunately, unequal in our talents and capabilities.

And god cannot fix it because he doesn't exist.

One of my best friends is deeply religious but would defend to the death my right to my opinions and beliefs.

They're the true friends.

12:15 PM  

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