Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The point of my story

I was fortunate to spend last Sunday afternoon with my dear friend Susan, and, as expected, the conversation turned to God and politics.

She shared two stories with me:

Last week she found herself walking to work next to a woman – obviously a Democrat – sporting an Obama button on her bag. Seizing what Susan thought was a great opportunity to learn more about a supporter of this candidate, she asked the woman: “Would you mind telling me why you’re supporting Obama?” The woman looked at her coldly, almost angrily, and said: “No, I don’t like sharing my views on politics.”

We agreed that – whether you’re wearing a symbol of your faith or a political button – if you’re going to advertise your beliefs, you ought to at least be willing to talk about them with curious strangers.

The other story involved her son. Apparently he has an Obama bumper sticker on his car. Sitting at a red light last week, a woman in the car next to him – obviously a Republican – started yelling at him about supporting a man she considered a terrorist and/or the Anti-Christ.

The point is, while it was obvious that both of these women held decidedly strong political views, neither of them was doing their chosen candidate any favors by their actions.

Which brings me to the point of my story.

I love this blog. I love what it’s done for me personally. It keeps me writing every day, helps me figure things out, and gives me something to do besides my other hobby, eating.

Most of all, I love how it helps me stay connected with people from all over the world – my oldest friends like Moe and Nelson and DewMama and my newest friends like Susan and Dave and Pos.

But I realized this week that I’m no good at writing about religion and politics.

I’m offensive. A caterwauling shrew.

A caustic bitch, as my dear friend You Know Who lovingly calls me.

The fact is, like those two ladies from Susan’s stories, I’m not doing my politics or my faith any favors by writing about them here.

So I’m not going to talk about that stuff until I can figure out a way to do it without being rude.

I suspect the solution involves story telling. The best stories don’t beat you over the head with a moral – they sneak up on you, surprise you with how you feel, and offer lessons that can transform your life and your views.

Thanks, Susan, for sharing your stories. And thanks to all of you for staying with me for this long story.
I am listening to: Breathe Me - Sia
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Still learning


Susan said...

Hedy - What is wrong with speaking your mind and stating your opinions? Isn't that what YOUR blog is suppose to be about?

I don't get it. As with radio dj's - if you don't like what they are saying....turn them off!

I want you to keep blogging your views and those who don't like it..don't have to read The HEDY Experience..especially if they feel you have performed some imaginary breach.

freedom of speech

wafelenbak said...

I totally agree that freedom of speech and the right to say what you want on your blog is important.
However, for whatever reason (I have some ideas), this election is really getting people's blood boiling and...yes...even destroying some friendships. I find that terribly sad. This is why I do everything I can to avoid talking politics right now. I've found very few people who are interested in hearing what I believe without wanting to jump down my throat to convince me of their point of view and/or call either candidate the Antichrist, the Son of the Devil, etc etc. (a tad reactionary and ridiculous in either case, if you ask me)
It's okay to say you disagree, but this partisan nastiness is only driving us and our government further apart, which makes it really hard to get work done for the betterment of our nation.
So Hedy, I respect what you are saying and I don't think you're censoring yourself as much as being aware of the consequences of your actions.

Posolxstvo I said...

It makes me sad that it has come to this. And I hope that nothing I said had anything to do with it.

I don't think of you as a "caustic bitch." Or a "caterwauling shrew." Of course, it probably helps that on many topics you're preaching to the choir here.

The thing is, that thing that Voltaire said... ("I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it") It really isn't being bought into in this country right now, is it? Hasn't been -- not for a long time.

Well, Hedy -- Even if I were to disapprove of what you have said -- ever -- I would defend to the death your right to say it.

This is not to say I wouldn't raise a counter point, though...

Anonymous said...

Yesterdays Tomorrow Is Today

It is our duty as Americans to keep our passions just and it is our nature to be kind. And when granted the opportunity to stand up for what is right we shall not relent.
We are certain to be our best when we rise above ridicule but we will only become our finest when we do not allow our fears to conquer our passions.

These are times for reason. These are times for veracity. These are times for truth.
Rarely in our history has there been more need for passionate voices of thoughtful dissent. This is the time for outrage and candor to fuse. And when we step over the line... it is the time for forgiveness. True friends will know our spirit and our hearts. And true friends will trust that we are guided by our love for this place we call home... America.

We live in a time where problems are often medicated away. We live in a time of blind eyes turning so good eyes may not see. We live in a time where leadership has failed and nonconforming voices are not just ignored but shouted down and righteously muted. We live in a time that rewards those who get in line and punishes those who get out of line.

But we know we can do better. We know we are better. We are more than our times. We know that yesterdays tomorrow is today and that we are the seed of the future. And the future will hold dearly the promise we keep... as we hold dearly the promise of those who passed before us. And in our voices that promise will ring forever. And that promise is this...

If we hold freedom dear we will keep it.

We are not afraid to stand up for the future. We are not afraid to raise our voices for the past. We are not afraid today.

Fight on Hedy... fight on.

God Bless America

Dave said...

Smart damn dog.

So you know, I don't always agree with you or the way you say what you say. Usually if this is the case, unless I can be wry or funny, I don't comment. But, I don't not read what you write.

I don't think the answer is to not write about religion or politics. You might want to change the way you write if your purpose is to convince. But, there's value to inciting. When that's your purpose, give'm hell.

And, and, sometimes inciting causes people to think. I'm betting that Moe still reads you. If what you say has merit, he's smart enough to think, OK, she has a point. He probably won't say it, but he can't help but think about it.

And, one last time, you seem to have Gromit on board.

Moe Wanchuk said...

Dave...I still read it....Just don't tell Hedy

Hedy said...

Thanks, friends. This is not me pouting - this is me seriously trying to figure out a way to get my point across without being a bitch.

And Gromit, you're a prince.

Anonymous said...

Hedy, Hedy, Hedy. I totally agree with you. Freedom of speech is what America is all about. That's part of what all our brave soldiers fought for. Therefore I WILL defend to the death,your right to speak freely. And when you are done speaking, if I don't like what you say, I will beat the Hell out of you. love, da

you know who said...

C'mon now, deep down you know whenever I called you a caustic bitch, what I really meant was.....well.... caustic bitch.