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Mental Snapshots #2: Perspectives

September 15, 2010

(This has turned into a series of blogs. I had intended to write one post with a bunch of different ideas in it, but the ideas are too long to smush together like that.)

I spend too much time on Facebook. It’s super easy to do, especially since I have chunks of my day where I’m sitting quietly, nursing Alea or holding her while she sleeps (like now). I’m not sure whether to be thankful that my laptop and ipod are so easily accessible, or whether I should regret the time that could be better spent reading. But that’s a thought for another day.

Recently I saw a group on Facebook petitioning to have the site’s color changed to from blue to camouflage, designed to show support for our troops. As far as petitions go, it’s a mild one, and I don’t see anything to get offended about by it. But I do have to wonder. Most of Facebook’s users are ‘foreign’ (not American). Facebook is a world-wide phenomenon. And troops tend to be very national. So, if we petition to change the color of Facebook to support troops, what troops will we be supporting? The Chinese military? The American military? The French military?

I think that it’s easy to forget that the world is larger than we usually realize. We can only understand the world through the filter of our own experiences and knowledge, so the little corner of the world that we as individuals are familiar with IS the whole world to us. But I think it might be better if Facebook stays blue.

That same thinking shows in many of the political and religious exhortations I see in my news feed. I’m slightly politically active, in that I try to educate myself about what’s going on in the world around me. Slightly because  I try always to remember that there are as many ways to see the world as there are eyes. I have friends who are devout Christians, and who believe that He is the answer to most of their questions. I have friends who are athiest, and who believe that most people are asking the wrong questions. I have friends who find the answers to their questions in places other than either Christianity or atheism. And all of these friends have opinions.

I have my own opinions. I like the saying that opinions are like assholes; everyone has one, because it’s true. And everyone thinks they’re right. I think I’m right, otherwise I’d change my mind to.. whatever I thought was right. It’s human nature: we can only understand the world through the filter of our experiences, and our experiences form our opinions.

My problem isn’t with opinions that differ from mine. The world would be a scary place if everyone agreed, and especially if everyone agreed with me!  But I do wish that more people realized that the world is a vast place, with many different ideas in it, and that there is always more than one way to look at something. Just because I believe something doesn’t mean that it’s what everyone should believe.

I think it’s totally cool to hear people talk about what’s important to them. I think it’s cool when people share their faith, or values, or even just thoughts and ideas. And I think that should be available to everyone.

I was going to follow with the thought that we’d all miss Christmas if we were forced to follow laws put in place by people who don’t believe in that holiday, but I have friends who believe that Christmas is under attack already. I have other friends who believe that Christmas is a pagan holiday and thus it’s evil and should be rejected. It’s like Halloween,.. I have friends who love it best of all, and others who believe it is a wicked thing. Which really, just illustrates my point.

Stay true to yourself, and give others the same consideration.

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