Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Great Debate

I feel like in our society there is a giant usher who asks you where you want to sit. More specifically, on what side of the aisle do you want to sit. The left side or the right side. And you're expected to choose what side your seat is quite early in life. 

What he doesn't tell you is that when you choose your seat you are also agreeing to agree with all that "that side" agrees with. That when your friends, family, co-workers find out where you sit they may look at your differently and will most likely stamp some sort of stereotype onto you. 

Well, I don't want to sit anymore. I want to stand. I want to stand for what I believe, not what my "side" believes. Let me explain. 

Growing up, I was unusually political for a little girl. I wrote letters to the President, I volunteered for campaigns, I could speak the political-speak very easily and I knew where I stood on issues. 

I passed this love of politics on to my younger brother. When he was only 5 years I remember a specific occasion when we went out for lunch together at Pizza Hut and we were having a conversation about World War II and the political and social implications of that era. Did I mention he was 5? And I was only 17 for that matter. Jordan went on to share his love for the politics by campaigning for George Walker Bush in his 2nd grade classroom, while passing out snacks he would ask his classmates who they planned to vote for (as if they had a vote!) and would "suggest" that they might consider Mr. Bush. Meanwhile, I was at Purdue having parties with my friends to watch all of the debates and major political milestones of the race. I bled red- both literally, of course, and politically. 

But, I had an ah-ha moment today. You see, I have been grappling with why my passion for politics seems to be fading fast. Why is it that as I get older (I lose that term loosely since I am 26) my "love" for politics is simply not there like it used to be. I am in no way apathetic. To be clear, I am not apathetic about anything in life because that my friends is what I consider to be laziness of the mind. But, I also realize that I no longer want to choose a side of the aisle to stand on.

I don't want to choose a permanent seat on either side of that aisle because at the end of the day I simply don't agree 100% with what either side stands for and I certainly don't agree completely with how either side is choosing to manage their agenda. 

Instead, I am finding that when it comes to my view on issues I am looking not through the "political" lens, but instead through the lens of my values and my faith. This is not a whole lot different than how I took positions before- always based on my values- but now I am eliminating that "3rd party" -the political party. I know who I am, I know where I stand and I know which causes and issues mean the most to me and I will spend my efforts focusing on those directly, in whatever ways are appropriate. 

I am not completely naive, I realize why political parties exist, I realize their purpose and why they are needed, but in my tiny role in this world I am coming to peace with the fact that I will most likely  not make my impact by involving myself in those parties. I will go about it in different ways, ways that are completely, 100%, whole-heartedly in line with what I believe to be right- no compromises, no "almost" agrees, no sort-of lean that way kind of stuff. 

On a last parting thought, I will tell you that I think Jordan was years ahead of me in getting to this realization. He may not be able to express it in words, but I think that Jordan already looks at things through the view of his faith and I hope that he continues to do that. If so, he will be years wiser than me. 

And finally, if you actually read this entire rant post, then I will treat you with this adorable video of Jackson from bedtime a few nights ago!

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