Some Thoughts About Discussion and More

I’ve got a million and one things swirling around inside my brain today (and forever.) I’ve been wanting to write about them for some time now, but I am not sure how it will all come out…so bare with me here.

I’m one of those people who avoids confrontation at all costs (well, unles you really tick me off, and that RARELY happens.) I’m so neurotic about this issue that sometimes I don’t think I let the real me show through. I avoid posting things because I’m worried about offending someone. I avoid commenting on certain subjects for the same reason. Every once in a while, I venture out to share something I think is very beneficial, although with much trepidation. I’m a people pleaser, and sometimes that fact really plagues me. Recently I encountered a controversial subject on another blog, and venturing out of my turtle shell, I actually commented what I really felt about it. I felt good doing so. Some people agreed with what I had to say and some (most) didn’t. I’m not going to share what the discussion was about, because that is not really important. What is important is what I have learned from the whole experience. At first I felt a little scared about people not liking what I had to say, but I quickly got over it. What I have learned, is that people are always going to disagree, have different opinions and even get offended, including me. I think that it is important to remember that discussion, sometimes heated discussion, is meant to bring about new understanding, and sometimes even change a person’s mind, or solidify their own original beliefs (at least that’s what it means to me.) I know that I don’t have everything all figured out, and I definitely don’t profess to. (Which is often a reason I refrain from sharing my thoughts on a subject, because I just don’t have it figured out yet!) I’m learning, changing and hopefully becoming a better person. I’m not going to be offended by people who have different ideas than me. I’m going to try to understand where they are coming from. I’m not going to hide my thoughts about things for fear of offending someone any more. I’m going to say what I think at this point in time in my life. All with the understanding that I can change my mind, I can learn new things, my point of view can change (sometimes it really needs to.)

What are your thoughts on these thoughts? I’m not sure I’ve gotten everything out that I wanted to express- sometimes it’s all mush up there…but anyways- with that thrown out there, I’m ready for some discussion.

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8 thoughts on “Some Thoughts About Discussion and More

  1. Sarah–

    Don’t tell me you waded into the volatile “boxers or briefs?” debate on someone else’s blog! Didn’t you know that the issue has split families and even caused blood to be shed?

    Seriously, as long as you are not being unfair, or slandering someone by name, I think you should feel free to share your true thoughts, as long as you understand that by doing that you invite criticism. Some of that criticism will be reasoned and fair, some of that criticism will be crazed, hate-filled and intolerant — especially if you venture an opinion about subjects like George W. Bush, abortion or which one of the Three Stooges was the funniest.

    I have to admit — sometimes I get very bored with blogs I read because it’s too much of a group hug. You know? Someone ventures a very “safe” opinion, and then there’s 32 comments from friends and people with the same views saying, basically, “that’s so true!” It can be gratifying for the author, I guess, but for the reader it can be downright sleep-inducing. As long as it’s not nasty with name-calling and character assassination, I enjoy a healthy debate SOME of the time on interesting issues.

    I’ll give you an example. One topic that is popular right now is the Davinci Code phenomenon — the book and the movie. Namely, knowing that both contain heresies, should Christians rad the book or see the movie? Some people say no — if they contain heresy, stay away. Others say yes — if you hope to talk to non-Christians and explain why the conclusions are wrong and not backed up by the evidence, you need to read the book and watch the movie to see what’s being said. I’m not sure which side I agree with yet, so on a topic like that, I’d appreciate hearing a civil debate. But if people got on and started yelling at Christians who’d seen the movie that they’re going to hell because they did so, then that’s when I’d click out.

    Does this make any sense? I ‘m so sorry I used up so many of your pixels in typing this.

    Venture into the waters of debate every now and then. We know you’re smart and nice — let us see more of what’s going on there in your brain.

  2. Muley- yes, I do know what you mean about the “group hug” type posts, and I get bored by them too, and sometimes it’s my own blog- ack!

    Yes I do know what you mean about the whole Da Vinci code debate and others- actually, a friend of mine wrote a good post about that whole debate, you should check it out :
    http://www.mac8mypc.com/?p=43

    Anyways, thank you for the encouragement- I am certainly working on letting what’s in my brain out- I want to be part of debate’s once in a while, regardless of the criticisms- I think I can accept that criticism is part of the whole mess now…

  3. I’m going to have to check Muley’s blog – that’s a smart cookie right there!

    And I do love the link – “I went to to see the DVC and I’m still a Christian.” That was GREAT. It had me laughing.

    Opinions are like sand as a whole they are beautiful, up close they get itchy in all the wrong places. That’s a Heather* original do you like it? Ha ha ha.

    Seriously though, I used to spout my opinions everywhere. Now every situation goes through a checklist before I offer my two cents:

    1.Does the person really want to know my thoughts?
    2.Do I have the proof to back my opinion?
    3.Am I willing to take the time to debate it out (civilly)?
    4.Does it really matter one way or the other?
    5.Most importantly, will I be showing Christ in my opinion, attitude and further debate?

    That’s saved me from getting into a lot of muck.

  4. I’m a bit of a pleaser too. But I think it’s easier in the blog world, because you’re not face to face and you’re not hearing the edgy voices or seeing the aggressive body language. Plus, you get time to think about it before saying something really stupid, and if you mess up, you can delete it. In real life I’m much more likely to avoid controversy, because it makes me nervous. I’m still way more shy than I let people believe.

  5. I’m a people pleaser too, it’s called a Golden Retriever type personality. I sometimes watch what I say for fear of hurting or not pleasing someone. Bet true to God and yourself. That’s what matters.

  6. Heather- that’s good preachin’ right there!
    Rebecca- that’s what I like about the blogworld too! I’m very much the same way.
    Paula- Good advice, sister!

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