I have them.
I stopped blogging last May because there were some people who didn't like it when I expressed my opinions. I get that people don't like conflict. I sure don't. Conflict can make me positively sick! But somehow disagreement, or merely holding to an opinion, has morphed into conflict. This is a disservice to everyone. How might we ever learn and grow if we eliminate free discourse from our lives? I don't think anyone should be fearful of expressing herself. The flip side of the coin is that we all need to learn how to listen when others express themselves to us, without it becoming a source of conflict.
Sometimes it seems that our society interprets the word tolerance to mean accepting all ideas as equal. I know many Christians who believe that tolerance is a bad word because it would compel them to agree with every opinion and idea out there. (Sadly, I see this evolve into the natural next-step of ...yep... intolerance. Righteous and angry intolerance, at that.)
Actually, I think tolerance requires disagreement. Follow me here. Without disagreeing, there is no need for tolerance. If we are all the same, after all, what is there to tolerate? To me, tolerance means accepting the person with love and gentleness, but not agreeing with all of his or her ideas or actions. In order for this to happen, there has to be a free exchange of ideas. And that mean lots of listening--which might be the real problem people have with differing opinions and exercising tolerance. We would rather share our own brilliant perspectives, wow the audience and move on to the next topic. To hear another side requires humility, and even sometimes some compromise. *gasp*
I am learning and exploring and may change my mind on issues. I don't think that the possibility of change or making mistakes relieves me of the duty to make judgment calls in the here and now. Just because I don't have it all figured out, it is not an excuse for stagnation. To move forward, I need traction, which means connecting to something, even if only temporarily.
So, for this blog, if you disagree with me, let us talk about the idea. If you think I am wrong in the way that I have analyzed or evaluated an idea, we can talk about the debatable validity of my process and conclusions. But if you don't care to talk about issues and prefer to just let me know that I am over-opinionated, please unsubscribe and forget about me. :)
Here is the deal. I will strive to be clear, respectful and loving. I would appreciate you not telling me that I am stupid, ugly or judgmental. Don't tell me I am wrong because of what others believe or do. I am happy to hear other opinions, perspectives, logical reasons and even personal stories. You want to talk ideas? This is the place. You want to attack me as a human being, please keep moving. If not for my sake, for your own. Negative comments will never be published, so you are only spoiling your day by reading words from someone you hate. I am sure you have far better things to do with your time.
If you need another reason to let me speak my mind on my blog on my time, I'll just borrow some words from the pretty Lesley Gore. I love the scarves. :)