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My Way or the Highway? or How to be civil and talk about politics.

If it is not dramatically obvious from the recent increase in posts, I am on Christmas break – a wonderful gift of time between semesters, where I now have time to engage in profound thought. ūüėČ

I don’t understand how anyone who reads or watches the news in any form can still support Sarah Palin. I don’t. I had not seen the interview with Katie Couric before seeing the SNL skits of it, and assumed that they were exaggerating some of the incredible comments she made (Palin certainly has a special way of saying nothing at all while trying to make you think she has said alot). But then I watched the interview and they WERE NOT EXAGGERATING!! She actually could not name a newspaper! She actually spoke in circular sentences and connected important words like “Economy” and “Foreign Policy” and “Job Creation” in ways that made no sense at all but that left you with a sense that maybe she said something…but wait… no she didn’t. Horrors that such a woman could actually be in line for President. I mean, I could have come up with more intelligient and more informed responses and I in no way, shape or form should be VP.

Ok, stepping off of soapbox and back onto my initial reason for this post.¬† I have said repeatedly to others how I just don’t unerstand how anyone can support Palin (I understand supporting McCain, but not Palin). A dear friend (same dear friend from the last post, she is quite the think-prompter) responded to me that there are also those who will be just as perplexed by my support of Obama. Okay, now my confusion has come full circle. My¬†initial reaction to this is that¬†I also don’t understand how anyone could NOT support Obama – unless of course they are racist, then I guess that makes sense (doesn’t mean its okay, just makes sense).

I sound very judgmental don’t I? I am challenged to think that perhaps I am being a bit close-minded. I mean, I really do love to learn knew things, to learn to think in new ways…but on some issues that I believe so strongly in, I have a hard time understanding how anyone could believe differently. I am of course, seeing the world through the narrow lens of my own perception and excluding the fact that others have a very different lens than mine. It doesn’t mean that my lens is wrong, or their lens is wrong….just different. I don’t have their lens, and if I insist that my lens is the only lens in the world, I will continue to be confounded by those whose lens shows them a view that is diametrically opposed to my lens.

I want to be accepting of other people’s lenses. I want to be open to the fact that other ways of seeing the world exist, and be respectful of those who believe differently than me. Who knows, perhaps if I try to see through their lens, I will come to understand them better or maybe even broaden my world view, or *gasp* get a new lens of my own. I certainly don’t like it when others are judgmental of my views and beliefs.¬† I am sure they don’t like it very much when I am judgmental back.

On some issues, and with some people, I find being open-minded and easy thing to do. As I said, I do love learning and I love learning about how people think and why they think the way they do (one of the reasons why I am a psych nurse). On other issues (mainly politics & sometimes religion) and with some people (those who are rigid or who want to convince me how wrong I am Рwhich just stirs up that little devil in me who will try to prove them equally wrong) I struggle with being accepting and open minded. I find myself getting angry or frustrated and the war is on and my dukes are up.

Perhaps if I can change my perception of those *ahem* wrong-minded individuals, then I could step out of the war. I mean, it may just be that there are some people that it is best to avoid certain topics with, but it could also be very freeing to hear why others believe the way they do without getting into a big war because I think differently. And truly, when the war starts, all thinking and listening really stops. They are spouting one thing and I am spouting another, both with fierce determination and heels dug firmly in the ground. Maybe, just maybe, if I ungrind my heels, I can hear what they are saying behind their words, and instead of viewing their speech as opprobrious, I can open my heart to understanding.

Worth a try anyway.


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