Speaking (or writing) my mind

I have never been a confrontational person. 

At times, it has hindered my expression of who I am as a person, but it has also helped me to stop and look at issues from every angle.  Instead of flying off the handle at someone because they didn’t share my point of view, I have paused and given them a chance to explain their side of the situation.  But it has also caused people to judge me as weak and not having a voice of my own.

More and more, I see myself as wanting to voice my concerns over social issues but feel like I had to watch what I say so that I don’t offend anyone. I would probably be labeled a trouble-maker if I said what was really on my mind. It’s a fine line between wanting to change the world and wanting to keep the peace.

I recently wrote an article about Terry Jones, the pastor from Florida who threatened to hold a massive Quran book-burning on 9/11.  It was the news topic for an entire week and people in high places took notice of this pastor.  People even threatened his life. 

Like many things I am passionate about, I feverishly set my keyboard on fire, blazing a trail that put my inner-most thoughts down for the world to see.  I showed it to my boyfriend, who had a few ideas of his own.

One of the statements read, “If this man were a Christian, he would already know what to do.”

I expected Jeff to agree with me because he refers to himself as a Christian. Instead, he came back with, “What’s your idea of a Christian?”  He went on to explain that people who aren’t Christians may not know what I was referring to.  I was a bit shocked at his logic but I couldn’t disagree. 

He went on to ask, “Are you saying that if I am not a Christian I am not a good person? Just what point are you trying to make in this article?” 

He wasn’t being mean, he wasn’t being sarcastic or condescending.  I realized that he was trying to show me that I was doing the same thing as millions of people the world over were doing; using religion as a way to personally attack those things that I don’t agree with.

I almost fell into the trap.  Almost.

If I am to speak my mind, or write about it, I have to remember not to attack people on a personal level.  That’s not who I want to be. I think it’s ok to want to change the world, but I think I can do that just by being an example.

Like the famous quote from Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  I think that’s a good place to start.

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