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Being a Reasonable Person

I quit writing earlier this year. I hit burnout. It felt useless to write because of several reasons the primary ones being that I was, and still am, tired of everything becoming politicized and that the vilification of differences of opinion makes debate seemingly impossible…

Which brings me to why I decided to break my silence. Being a reasonable person is hard. It requires me to assume the person I am talking to is also reasonable. It forces me to maintain the idea that their beliefs and convictions have come from as much thought and internal debate as mine have and it means that, even if I disagree, I have to credit them with intelligence and rationality…

I’m fair minded enough…I hope…to believe that I am capable of being mistaken. I know that I have mad mistakes and will again but since I make mistakes and want my failings forgiven, I must be willing to return that same grace. It would be far easier to be a mean-spirited cynical old b****rd. It would simplify debate if my answer to anything I disagreed with was, “are you f**king stupid?”…and it would make lie to my claim and desire to be reasonable and occasionally rational…

My father says, “everyone has their flat sides.” The way I think he means it and the way I take it is to read that there are imperfect parts to all of us. I KNOW, read “bedrock belief”, that I have mine, see “mean-spirited cynical old b****rd”…and I struggle against that. I enjoy being that person. He’s comfortable. Part of that struggle is to, pardon the trite expression, I have to clean my side of the street before I worry about yours. If I decide to be against something, in Millerspeak, to be an “anti” I have to be sure that what side I take hasn’t done the same or worse than what I’m against. Just because I support something or person or view doesn’t give them a free pass…in fact, it means I hold them to a higher standard and if they fail, I reevaluate MY position.

Being reasonable both simplifies and complicates things. I’ll explain. It simplifies because I have zero tolerance for people that aren’t willing to be and return the same. As a result, I refuse to engage them in conversation. It complicates because, when people disagree rationally and reasonably with my views, I have to give some credence to their view and explain my view in a civil manner, see my comment are you f**king stupid?”…

Anyway, life is too short, my life is at any rate, to be more hypocritical than I can avoid. My own code requires me to give the same consideration and respect that I would want given to me. My friends and loved ones were too carefully allowed into my life to have me want to drive them away because I just decided to be a twerp. Live yours as you wish but, for me, being a reasonable and calm human is a worthy goal and part of my chosen path…

It isn’t how you treat the people you like that matters. That’s easy. What counts, what reflects on you, is how you treat the people you despise. That’s the hard part…

I Wish…

I wish I had better words than “tolerate” and “accept”.

I wish I didn’t have to write these because there was no longer a need.

I wish people would quit talking about “stoning” my friends. If they want to, I hope they throw the first stones at me and I have the courage to take the hit.

I wish I had a tool that would allow me to convince people to change their views.

I wish there were not variations on a theme. If I could just find one effective post and copy it over and over.

I wish Aj and Z lived closer so we could sit down and visit over grilled meat in our back yard.

I wish I had larger readership, not out of ego on my part but, so that the message that Aj and Z are good people could be spread wider.

I wish someone would give me some insight so that I might find the lever that I need to change the world. If you have some, please share it with me.

I wish I was more patient.

I wish that my fellow Christians could see past their views and realize that it is not a religious issue to be for “equal rights” but, a human issue. That we can have secular issues that are not influenced by our religious views.

I wish that you could see Z standing up for the rights of someone to have their views. Even when she is angry that that person has called her “perversion”. That may well be the thing that I admire most about her.

I wish a lot of things. What I need is for my wife to be happy and my friends to be treated fairly.