What is it exactly that I believe? I like to pride myself on saying that I don’t actually believe anything, not completely, because I leave room for possibilities. There are at least 2 sides to every story, and thinking we are correct about anything is a collective myth. Of course, that leaves one imbalanced sometimes, unsure of oneself, needing a home to settle into. On the other hand, it is less constricting, less confining, not so claustrophobic. But…
I realized yesterday that I do have beliefs. Of course I do. Sometimes the methods with which I think things should be accomplished might change. But still..
I am starting a bipartisan conversation group. I needed to find people on the other side (I’m on the left) because I only know a few who would actually be part of an intelligent conversation, but I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with family and friends, so I’m opting for strangers.
I sent out a questionnaire which puts you in a quadrant to see if you’re left leaning or right, authoritarian or the opposite. I was nervous, I admit. What if my long held beliefs, which I thought I don’t have any of…ha!, turned out to be different? What if I was on the other side? What if I actually, in my heart, agreed with these other people? That would be like finding out I like country music (there are about 10 songs I’ve ever liked). Or hip hop (there are about 8 songs I’ve ever liked).
I did the questionnaire. There are about 70 questions. As it turns out, I do have a belief system. And it’s exactly what I thought it would be. Phew!!! Now, I’m curious to see if I can run this dialogue group without screaming at anyone. I am actually much more resistant to new ideas than I thought. I have taught debate to students at almost every age and forced them to take the opposite view, which they did with a great deal of whining and resistance. Now, I am about to embark on a journey of discovery with people who actually like Trump, who have ideas about government and politics and social issues that are vastly different from my own, and I hope my tongue does not get bitten, since I don’t care for the taste of blood.