Friday, August 1, 2008

JMO - Avoiding arugments

Ok, we all do that, hate arugments with some people or about some issues. The old adage about talking about anything except politics and religion, and now war. And it's always interesting in many, all really, other issues, that once inside the discussion, the arugments become tense, stressful and often polarized, and you wished you had simply not walked through the tavern door, sat down and said, "So, what's everyone talking about?"

Been there, done that, and drank a lot of bitter and sour ale and listened to a lot of heated words from angry faces. And I end up going home early or shutting up and trying to enjoy my ale and the rest of the group in the tavern. This isn't to say I avoid heated arguments (debate sense) or discussions, I love them when everyone is open, honest, interesting, funny, and so on where the exchange is lively, learning, and understanding.

Ok, I'm rambling here, but then these arugments do than, mosey around an issue, looking at all its facets, and opening a dialog into its depths, or so we often think, but mostly just scratching the surface like trying to peek through frosted glass on a storefront window. But then I've been at many open forums with all the respected people that would do better conducting it at a tavern, we get about as far and will less hostility and formality.

So, what's my point? Well, this one is about umbrellas.

Umbrellas? Yes, the figurative ones some groups like to use to encompass the most number of members by whatever classification they can imagine. And then claim ownership of those people to be under the umbrella if they want to or like to be there or not. In short, they remove the choice of people to be excluded and the right of people to leave. And they wonder why they're not liked by those who don't think they belong, according to the way the world recognizes them or they identify themselves.

I've never been a group person. I make no bones about the fact I like being alone, it's who I am. I like talking with people at times, a good conversation is always interesting and you just might walk away with something you didn't know or a tidbit to explore later. And it's why I hate the use of umbrellas to describe me. I'm not them, nor necessarily want to stand under their umbrella, but they insist. And then wonder why I'm rebellous about it.

I prefer to the freedom of the rain and the right to walk my own path, not under someone's umbrella simply because they want to think it's right for some political purposes, usually theirs for some goal that may or may not help those under the umbrella and only the privileged ones under it. It's not the conscensus under that umbrella that matters, but who's holding it and who's controlling where it goes.

Having danced around the umbrella in the rain, I'll take the rain every time, and leave the umbrella to others. And I'll argue, and fight if need be, against anyone who denies me my freedom to be who I am. The rain is always better than the crowd.

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