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11:20 a.m. - 2001-09-23
I don't know...just like everybody else. I'm not trying to fucking teach anybody anything, I'm trying to be taught. If you are willing to stop thinking about an issue as soon as you reach your desired comfort level, well you might not really be looking for answers after all. I have no problem with that, but my stopping point is a little, or a lot, further than most. It's not because I'm some deep genius schollar. It's not because I care about the world more than anyone else. It's just the way I cope with the world. To each their own, right?

It seems that my process is considerably more abrasive than other people's. I am willing to go through a great deal of unpleasantness so I can learn something, even if it hurts. Trust me, I think everyone has something to teach me, but I also think that they won't if they have stopped thinking themselves.

Is it right for me to try to challenge someone's views, knowing that it will make them uncomfortable? Is it ok for me to allow someone to continue to remain misinformed about a fact or piece of information that has led them to their conclusion. Is it fair to let people stop thinking about something because they care more about how it makes them feel than discovering the truth?

I don't know.

In day to day life, I have to let people have their own coping mechanisms. It is not comfortable for me all the time, but it's a balance. People think that I'm always trying to make them admit that I'm right and they're wrong. I have to take some responsibility for that, whether or not that's my intent. But even when I come across as a know-it-all prick, what I'm really looking for is someone to tell me I'm wrong, and be able to explain why. It sucks doing the vast majority of your growing inside your own head. Everytime somone agrees with me, that's one less opportunity for me to get a viewpoint that is new to me.

The problem is, I fear that through my delivery, I become that wine expert; people are intimidated by my mouf. Or they find it overbearing, or obnoxious, or whatever. I would be an idiot to think that there is not something to those assesments. Maybe I am arrogant, but I also believe that alot of the problem people have with me also comes from the fact that I challenge their comfort zone by insisting that they think as well as feel.

I'm not trying to open up someone to the fabulous ways of my mind. I am not trying to lead the people with my new insights into human nature. I am not trying to make people think so that I can save the world from ignorance. What I really want is someone to talk to.

If you have ever had a disscusion on racism when you were 13 or 14, you probably had some strong ideas of what was fair and right. Maybe you, or someone else in the class volunteered the idea that we are all the same color under our skin. Many people are happy with that conclusion and never give it a second thought for the rest of their lives. Those people have found their comfort zone and don't need to think any deeper.

But most people will grow up, and learn that there are more complex issues involved ie., history, culture, social and economic class systems etc.. My point is, I doubt anyone was at the world summit on race relations contributing the idea that we're all the same color underneath.

If you teach a seventh grade class, and talk about race relations, you will probably find simple heartfelt views that are very relevant. Afterall, we are all the same color inside, right? But if you tried to take that conversation too deep, you would lose give and take with the students and end up lecturing them. You may spark a few minds and be taught something yourself in the process too, 13 y/o's are as intelligent as any other group, but you probably wouldn't gain a great mass of new information. It may well be that the students would be better off going through the process of developing their viewpoints, without too much input from you.

Well I'm not a fucking teacher and adults are not seventh graders. I don't want to have to manipulate them into feeling comfortable enough to talk to me. I want input. I want people to have their input challenged and come back with something to back it up, so I can understand, or spark them to continue to develop their thoughts so I can get something from their process. I want my view point challenged. I want to learn.

Tell me I'm wrong, but tell me why. Tell me you're right, and tell me why. Tell me I'm right and that now that you think about it that way _______. I'll do the same.

Too much to ask? Well I hope people can cope with me as I figure out the balance between my comfort and theirs. I am trying, I sure am not getting what I want now so I better change something right?

We are all the same. This is my flag waving. This is my war protest. This is my way of coping with a situation that makes me feel small and insignificant. I have to let people have their comfort, but I have to have mine too.


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