Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Strong Belief by Buster Benson

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

I had to turn this prompt over several times today but I kept circling back to the same basic thought. The hard part was determining what belief I value and actively live by which isn't shared by my closest families or friends. I am fortunate to have supportive family and friends (since the only family I "chose" was the one I married into 27 years ago). 

Growing up I was taught to be polite and respectful. Sometimes that meant turning a deaf ear to something that wasn't polite or politically correct. In the last 10 years or so, I have decided that not speaking up when someone says something that causes my conscience to shout "NO"is a disservice to my values and therefore to me.

Living in a conservative rural community and speaking out, really speaking out, can be hard. Word travels fast, there is plenty of beauty shop and coffee club gossip, and memories can be long.

These comments compel me to speak up without hesitation:

  • the use of the N word
  • derogatory comments about LGBTQ people
  • insisting that the United States is a Christian country (and all the resulting things we should be doing based on that idea)  
  • comments which belittle females
I'm probably forgetting some other things that prompt a quick response, because fortunately I  haven't heard them in quite some time. Wouldn't it be great if my list quickly dwindled to nothing more important than whether deviled eggs should have relish in them (they shouldn't, ever)?

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