Some people sing in the shower, I think. My thoughts tonight need a bit of an outlet.
Last week my small group leader asked me what my issue is, since I haven’t really discussed this in small group. That’s just it, though. That’s one of my biggest issues. I’ve always been a bit shy and tight lipped. Experience has really honed in and fine tuned this instinct I have to keep things to myself. Aside from that, my “thorn” is actually quite painful. In exchange for honesty, I often get ridicule, condescension, or laughter. Worse still, is when I’m essentially told to stop whining and shut up. (No one has ever said that in so many words, but intonation and facial expression say a lot more than people realize.) Somehow, my struggle is funny or annoying to most people, especially women, which is my entire small group. I’m also still learning how to talk to girls. I grew up in a world populated by almost twice as many boys as girls. I’m fairly new to this whole friends-with-women thing. I think I’m not very good at it. Alas, that is a story for another time. If my small group leader reads this, I just want her to know that I did think about what she said last week, and that I do struggle with authority as I said (though, that most frequently takes form in a desire to start some kind of political revolution á la Ché), and that I’m glad to have her as my leader.
There was an upstart a few months ago that I somehow managed to start. Tonight I was trying to look back to see what my part in it had been. This is not the first time I have looked back hoping to see something different, but I still have not figured out how I did anything wrong. I was deeply hurt during this skirmish by someone I thought to be above that level of spite. After these past few months that I have spent trying to discover the portion of the argument I should apologize for, I still cannot find it. I have come to some conclusions, however. The first thing I’ve learned is that being open-minded and tolerant doesn’t mean being a doormat for ideals, opinions, thoughts, or theories, it’s about knowing where you stand and being secure enough to listen to what someone else has to say without feeling personally attacked. Second, it is never acceptable to gossip about someone, but when you openly slander a person in a forum for her to see/hear while talking to someone who shouldn’t have to choose sides, you’re just being malicious. There is never a good reason for malice. It’s so unattractive in a person and completely unnecessary. I forgive the person who is guilty of slighting me in this way, though I doubt she will ever forgive me for having liberal political ideas. Third, every person in this country has been given a right to speak freely. To me, this means that each person should consider their choice of words, their opinions, and how they use them. This is true in political, public, and private forums. If you begin spouting your ideals without proper logical evidence and without true reflection, you’re taking for granted the right our forefathers have given us. Lastly, it is never okay to verbally attack someone simply because they have a different world view than yours. There is no reason to, as my generation would say, be a “hater” simply because someone follows a different set of ethics while maintaining Christian morals. That is something I would like to bring up as well: I have searched my Bible for any evidence that I behaved wrongly and have found nothing. I kept my cool while trying to explain myself. I know that as far as etiquette is concerned I was also on the side of right. I’ll never understand how my initial remark led to such disgusting behavior. I ask no recompense, I only wanted to sort through some thoughts I had on this matter and maybe reproach myself for any part I may have had in the offense that was noticed by anyone who was privy to that heinous conversation.