What's in a name?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 01:42 am
basildestiny: (Default)
I have a very elementary viewpoint of friendship. If we are friends on any sort of social network, it means that we are actually friends. I can trust you to have the integrity to believe in who I am as a person instead of believing some stereotype that you'd heard or read or assumed. You believe I am a better person than that. If you are uncertain based on a post, you will question me, politely and with dignity, for clarification. Obviously there are some huge holes in my logic. And due to my naivete, I've been on the receiving end of lessons learned the hard way one too many times now.

So, I'm not getting on my high horse here. I just want a chance to weigh in. I hear so many of my peers saying "That's why I don't talk about religion or politics." And I get it, I do get it. I just wonder if it applies to a personal journal. Maybe not the best topic for dinner at your new boyfriend's house the first time you're invited over. Maybe not the best conversation with random strangers while in a hospital waiting room. Maybe not the best topic while on a working lunch with your boss. And maybe those are all good times. Why are we so afraid of civil discourse? I get that it's not always civil, but discourse is a good thing. We should know both sides, right? I never participated in debate. To be honest, I've never been that good at it. Too emotional. But I'm learning now.

And I really feel an obligation to post on these sorts of topics. My reasons are several. First of all, I have opinions and I want to share them. I feel I have a unique perspective. I started my twenties as a bleeding heart liberal. Socialism was an excellent idea. Why not share amongst us all? Unfortunately for the liberal inside, I met someone who challenged me on all of my beliefs and answered my why nots. I had been living under the assumption that there were no thinking conservatives. There couldn't be because liberals wanted what everyone wanted. They represented the people while conservatives represented Big Business and Old Traditions. I was so smitten with these stereotypes. So when I met someone who challenged me and pushed me to find the answers, I wanted to share those answers with the people I cared about the most. Turns out that a lot of those friends only wanted to be friends if we could agree. The simple fact that I didn't count myself as a liberal anymore was enough, without even hearing a single argument.

I'm hoping for a chance to be heard without automatically being labeled a bigot or being told by someone I respected as a friend and peer to get off my high horse. I fear that we have become extremists. Just because someone is not for something does not make them a hater of that thing. I am tired of being quiet and being counted as one in agreement or one defeated by this extremism.

I'm not racist. I'm not violent. I'm just no longer silent. I won't have my voice usurped any longer.

I'm not directing this entry at anyone at all on livejournal. I feel that I can have a civil discourse with everyone here without it becoming a personal attack. We can agree to disagree while educating each other at the same time. I'll understand; however, if someone doesn't feel that way. As I said above, I've been wrong in the past.

~Basil D

October 2013

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