Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Imagine All the People: A Lesson From A Week Without Politics and Religion

I remember once in high school a teacher made us all do an online test to gauge where our political beliefs stood on a chart. Liberal. Conservative. Anarchist. Communist. To visually imagine it he made us stand in the room where we ended up on the chart. Needless to say, I was standing very far away from all of my classmates. If any historical entities were standing there in the classroom, I'd probably be shoulder to shoulder with the Che Guevara. Nothing much has changed since then, but because I'm borderline addicted to politics I just have a different perception about the world now. So if you haven't already guessed I'm a bright-eyed optimistic liberal. To a fault. And my spiritual beliefs have evolved past anything even recognisable. And my beliefs about the universe evolve every day. I'm not scared to say that what I learned growing up was wrong. I'm not scared to say what I said yesterday about my belifs are wrong today.

Things have become extremely heated in the area of politics and religion. I could go on for days about why I belive that it has, but that is a different blog post. I become very heated about it as well, because it would seem like I'm surrounded by people who have a lot to say about politics but only research as far as their t.v. remote will let them. Having realized that this constant obsession with politics doesn't make me a happier person I decided to take a week off from everything religion or politics. And for me that meant turning off the car radio because all I listen to is NPR. Not checking more than half of my e-mails from which mostly come from NOW and other feminist organizations. Not being tempted to tell redneck racist losers at the next table at dinner that they're redneck racist losers. Not going on a million rants about Osma Bin Laden/ Barrack Obama/ George W. Bush/ etc.. The latter was especially hard because it was announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed fifteen minutes before I officially stopped talking about religion and politics.

You might ask me what was the point of it all. Well, here is what I learned:

1: Religion and politics encompasses anything and everything. If you start talking about something and want to figure out how it started, eventually it leads back to something religious or politically based.
2: After giving up this addiction (and politics truly is) I realized that I can live life without being glued to political articles. Politics will still go on without me.
3: If I don't agree with something, I can do something about it. Write letters to politicians, organize, fundraise, protest, etc. but talking about it doesn't do much more than make enemies.
4: To love people despite their beliefs. Or maybe because of them. Like in high school, I sit very far away from everyone else in the political and religious arena. Most of my friends and family are on the opposite side of the room. It's so easy for me to say that I hate Republicans and Conservatives, but they're all my family. And I love them. And I think that if we all realized this, there would be a lot less hateful political rhetoric and a lot more problem solving.

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." ~Plato

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