Recently I received an email from someone which expressed concerns about people thinking I am some kind of “kook”, and this person has to keep defending me. My reply? “Never feel like you need to defend me as I am confident in what I believe.” And you know me, it got me to thinking as I was on my way into work behind the dirty windshield.
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My father, who I have spoken of often in this blog, always told me “If you believe in yourself, and believe you are right, then don’t worry about what others think.” Admittedly there was a time when I didn’t take this advice and let what others thought of me, or what I thought they might think, influence my decisions. I certainly regret that now. I have since learned that if people can’t accept me for who I am, which is defined by my beliefs, then I really don’t need to consider them friends.
Does this mean I can only be friends with people who believe as I do? Absolutely not. In fact I like knowing and talking to people who don’t agree with me, after all this is how we grow, by listening to all sides of an argument. However, I won’t listen to someone who won’t consider my side of the argument, or someone who has no rational argument.
A good example of this would be people who don’t agree with the Tea Party. As many of my readers know, I am involved in the local tea party movement, and I agree with their core principles, and I am more than willing to discuss my views on this any time. But what happens? As soon as you mention the words “Tea party” people of a certain political persuasion will automatically call you various names, the latest of which is “Angels of Satan”. The latest example in my case, the one which has caused me to be labeled a “nutty kook” has to do with my views on a local political hot button regarding a billboard asking voters to show their ID when they vote.
It seems many people are against this idea (by the way as of now this is not the law in Massachusetts, so it is totally voluntary) on the grounds that asking this of voters is intimidating them. When I ask how is this any more intimidating than being asked to show an ID when you purchase alcohol, I receive no answer, or I am given the answer “It’s racist”. “How is it racist?” I ask. “Because this is a predominately minority community so you will be targeting these minorities.” So following this logic, when the clerk at the liquor store asks for an ID, this is also racist intimidation because the community is predominately made up of minorities. But no, the answer given is “That’s different”.
So then what is the answer? Why is it different? “Well, you are just a kook.” I guess I must be. My point is, if you want to disagree with me, at least answer my questions with rational answers. I answer any questions or comments on my various writing venues with rational answers, so should you. But then this goes back to my original point. I am secure in my beliefs that I am right, and if you were secure in yours, you would be able to come up with a rational answer.
But then I am one of those Tea party nuts, so what do I know.