First of all, my holiday was pretty good. Family; that family’s friends; gifts.
But just the day after Christmas things were back to the old pattern. I got told that I was so influenced by what my father believes it was unbeleivable.
It’s funny, my dad would probably never say that. I don’t think most people who meet me feel I am easily swayed by people’s opinion.
But what does frustrate me is that I don’t explain my own positions. I never have explained my political positions (that is, what led me to that conclusion.) IT’s nto becaue I don’t have reasons. I have lots of reasons.
I actually have too many, and I usually feel that if I laid out my whole line of thinking, no one would listen. People rarely listen when I even begin to explain my views, if they hold different ones.
I’ve learned to keep my disagreement to myself.
Which is, I figure, just what the opposition wants.
I’m not the only one who does this, I know others who do. People who are feeling that the opposing side is so bull headed that there’s no point in trying to explain why we think differently. We never get that far, we figure, so why bother?
Funny, whichever side of a given issue you’re on, you probably have felt this way.
But, no one gets wiser when we all keep in in.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,”
Of course I’m not one to say that we can all always learn form each other’s points of view.
That’s not the reason we share points of view.
If someone’s view is false, then nothing can be learned from it, by definition. But there is a lot you can learn from the person who holds that view.
You can learn why they hold it, how it came to happen, and what effect it has on them and the people around them.
With very extreme views, often that last thing is obvious.
But I submit to you that truth itself is not something another human can teach you, just by telling you something.
We learn from each other’s character far more than from each other’s words, though those are a big part of it.
But that is the danger of looking to the popular, or widely accepted or hated opinions; also of looking to the media, or a celebrity; or a parent to guide you to truth; they aren’t always in it.
I doubt anyone has the capacity to hold all truth in their minds at one time, but it is certain that some people are on the track to discovering more of it all the time, and others to never ending deception.
That’s why we do ally ourselves with certain groups of people. I prefer Fox News not because I believe its unbiased (I don’t) but because I know the people on Fox news hold belief systems closer to my own, and therefore are more likely to point me in what I believe is the truthful direction. But I don’t completely swallow all they say, I don’t know if they really expect that actually.
The difference I do perceive between Fox and CNN is that one seems to expect people of different views to tune in occasionally, but the other really doesn’t.
But I’m not getting into that debate (and I won’t get into it in the comments, just in case there was someone reading who would try.)
My point is, human institutions are like compasses. Some aren’t accurate, some are, but at their best, all they do is point you to the right thing.
So, if I do share a lot of my father’s views on things, it is because I see him as a pretty accurate compass.
But I don’t agree with my father on plenty of subjects. I choose to keep those to myself because I don’t think it’s anyone’s business. not anyone who’s not close to my family anyway.
But the reason I agree, as far as politics goes, is that my faith is the same as my dad’s essentially. Bible-based. And I would only expect our ideas to line up most of the time because of that.
I won’t pretend that my parents haven’t influenced my beliefs, of course they have, and I’m glad they did. They are good, honest people, and I have no reason to be ashamed to agree with them.
But they do not define my beliefs. The older I get, the more I realize this. That even though my beliefs have not really changed since I was a child, they have become more my own, not less.
Actually, whether you like it or not, after a certain age, your beliefs are your own. No matter if you’ve ever questioned them or not.
To all of us there comes a choice to question, or to accept what we’ve been taught. All of us decide, for a myriad of reasons, which we will do. All of us, no one gets left out of that. Once you decide, it’s your belief.
Some folks might whine that their parents ruined their lives, but after a certain age, you ruin your own life.
Depending on where you live and what your family is like, that could be a different age for all of us, but we hit it sooner or later.
I know our parents shape us, but they don’t define us.
And one last thing:
Like everyone, I have doubts. I never reassure myself by telling myself that “my parents are sure, so it must be true.” I can’t imagine that actually being comforting.
No. I have to go back to what I have experienced, and heard, to remind myself why I believe.
And that’s all I have to say about that, until next time–Natasha.