I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed. I can talk a good game. I know a lot of big, fancy sounding words and can use them, most of the time, in the right context. But, I’m not comfortable having deep, intellectual, philosophical discussions.
It’s not that I’m stupid, I’m just more common sense smart, than I am book smart. I do read books, two or three at time – and I can manage to keep the characters and plots from meshing together. It’s only that these books are merely for entertainment. I rarely pick up a book of non-fiction. My days of reading for enrichment or education are long gone.
There is an effort to keep up with news and what’s going on in the world, but I couldn’t regurgitate it back to anyone in any sort of comprehensible way. (There’s one of those big words I was talking about.) In my head, I catalog all this information, construct opinions, formulate beliefs, and decide what my course of action will be. If forced to explain all this to anyone, the best I could come up with would be ‘just because.’
That’s really too simplistic. Given an adequate amount of prep time, I could make a convincing argument, but I don’t want to. I don’t feel a need to justify anything I believe – be it political, religious, ethical… whatever – to anyone.
I know that I hold opinions on certain topics that are different from my husband. We could argue about it. I could give him definitive reasons why he’s wrong and I’m right. I know I won’t change his mind, so it’s pointless to attempt it. Besides, he has as much right to his opinions as I do mine, and probably feels he’s as right as I do.
The same holds true for my kids. In 2012, both my children will be voting age. Neither my husband nor I will TELL them how they should vote on any issue. We can explain why we feel a certain way, ask them what they think, and then encourage them vote how they want.
It’s the same reason why I won’t tell either of my children what they have to believe regarding religion. We can discuss my beliefs, why I believe what I do, and the rest is up to them. I’ll never try to force them to choose a specific path.
There are people in my life who are very dear to me who have different beliefs, diametrically opposed to what I think is correct, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a small part of who they are. If I rejected everyone who didn’t think exactly as I do, I would be very lonely, and bored – husbandless, childless, friendless, an only child, and an orphan.
I don’t want to live in that world.
In the end, can we ever truly know, without a scintilla of doubt, that we are absolutely right about anything?