The Daily Dahlia for 9/11/15
Though I don’t agree with all that was done in the wake of the horrible events that happened 14 years ago today – the laws, the policies, the rhetoric – I do consider the events of 9/11 and the aftermath another Declaration of Independence, of sorts. All the talk of not fearing continues to baffle me. Of course I fear. I don’t let it consume me, but I still fear – how could I not? That day that lives in infamy is more of a Re-Independence Day for me personally, a day when I re-declare life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When I re-commit to gratitude. When I re-avow to live until I die.
Some say they watch certain news channels so they can refute what others say, and I imagine myself asking them why they feel the need to refute anything. Everybody can watch and believe what they choose. Period. Your news channel – any news channel, for that matter – might make me come-up-off-the-seat-crazy, but I’ll never even suggest that you turn the knob. I wonder what makes the would-be refuters so sure that the news they watch is truer and more accurate than any other news coming through the sound waves. What makes them right and everybody else wrong?
They say get right with the Lord or dance on a bed of hot coals for all eternity, and I wonder why they can’t live the best life they know how to live in accordance with their own belief system and leave me be to live my best life with my belief system. Why isn’t it enough to do no harm, to behave responsibly and compassionately, to live a full, rich spiritual life without infringing on the right of others to do the same?
Some declare publicly “This is my candidate, and if you don’t like it and dare say anything against her, I’ll unfriend you and never speak to you again.” And I scratch my head and wonder why they are the only ones with freedom of speech.
It does make me appreciate even more my friends and family who . . .
~ have deeply held religious beliefs and never pull the arrogant card, trying to force their beliefs on me
~ have differing political preferences and opinions and aren’t belligerent about them
~ love me deeply enough, are mature enough, are comfortable in their own skin enough to talk about these differences with an open mind, listening and asking questions and remaining open instead of arguing and slamming and storming off.
I’ve long harbored a secret notion that if folks who differ in their beliefs and opinions would talk openly and honestly with more patience, curiosity and openness than arrogance, anger and argument – if we could sit with the intent of conversing instead of converting – we’d find that we actually agree on more than we disagree over. That’s something that’s surely proven true with a cousin I especially love, admire, and respect more than I can quantify. Oh, the conversations we have. They prove my secret notion possible, charge my batteries, feed my soul. We ask questions of each other, listen deeply and patiently to the answers, and frequently find that we’re talking about the same thing, just using different words. Yes, all too often, it’s the words we use that prove the hurdle, and the mindset we keep that proves the key.
It’s a rare thing that I wish would become commonplace, conversations like this. Can you just imagine what a different world we’d live in if people put their energy into living the best life they know how to live and supporting and encouraging others as they do the same?
I don’t usually go public with my beliefs and opinions – that’s not my thing – but sometimes I would like to have my say just because I think it’s important – not the content of what I’d say but the act of saying of it. A lot of people have died making sure we all – and that includes me – have that important right and enjoy that freedom, and what better way to show appreciation than to speak up instead of just listening up?
Okay, soapbox is going back under the bed now.