Some people drive me crazy. They have no idea…:) And I know it shouldn’t matter! What they believe, what they say, the stuff they post on FB or send in racist, homophobic emails masquerading as ‘ jokes’ (ha ha). ARGH!
When this happens — and it does all too often — I think of a calming passage from the Buddhist writer Susan Moon, a writer I admire tremendously who says, “If we human beings are going to stick around on this earth, we need to learn to get along not just with the people who share our views, but also, and more to the point, with the people who get our goat. And remember—we get their goat, too.”
Somehow it helps to think I drive them nuts, too. And what does that say about me? But I wonder if they even hear me, sometimes. Recently I read an article that warned how insular we are becoming — micro-communities of agreement, seeking only those who agree w/ what we value. No exchange of information, no challenging of belief systems. It’s one of the chief arguments I hear about home-schooling: I don’t want my child exposed to X or Y or Z.
Okay — you certainly have that right. But wouldn’t it make more sense to let your child come home from public school, that great equaliser, and ask questions? And talk to them about belief? Because as someone who teaches college, I can assure you: I’ve seen many many students crash & burn because they’ve never been challenged, never had freedom of choice. Never had to reflect on what they believe…
I started blogging because I wanted a place to listen. I know — seems paradoxical, since I’m talking :). But I knew that eventually people would begin to talk back — it just takes a while. And I wanted to hear what they had to say. Same reason I don’t censor my social media — I really want to hear what others say. Does what they say sometimes make me nuts? Sure! When people talk trash about teachers, I hate it. But isn’t it better to talk?
So the news that Google shapes what you find on an Internet search according to your preferences frightens me terribly. If you can Google British Petroleum, and find nothing on the oil spill — because you don’t want to — what happens to cultural capital? What do we ‘know’ if we’re never challenged to reflect on it? Justify it w/ evidence? Support it w/ more than rhetoric?
In an odd way, I’m almost grateful for the people who make me crazy. But I’m more grateful when I think they feel that way about me too :).