The other day my oldest son Russell and I were on the way to wash and vacuum my car (much to his chagrin) and he was really giving me attitude about my music. I know, I know – the nerve I have, as a parent and the person who pays for my vehicle, to want to listen to something as ear-splitting, unclassic, and tasteless as…Fleetwood Mac. Yes, “Rumours.” I know. I am clearly a horrible person.
As I explained to him, there are just some things you don’t do in life. You don’t insist on YOUR favorite restaurant for someone else’s birthday dinner. You don’t try to control the radio dial in someone else’s car. You don’t criticize the paint color in someone else’s house that THEY pay the mortgage on. And then there’s my “Three Things Rule.” I explained to Russ, the THREE THINGS you just don’t need to not offer unsolicited opinions or advice on.
- Peoples’ Fashion Choices
- Peoples’ Kids Names
- Peoples’ Food
This brings me to my own opinions. In sixth months’ time on my blog, I’ve felt strongly enough about something a whopping FOUR times to actually offer opinion on it on my site. Now, people can keep up the pervasive myth that I’m forceful with my opinions or especially opinionated, but that’s a lie and I don’t really get where people get that from. But in any case, I live in a world absolutely boiling OVER with other peoples’ opinions. I know what “opinionated” looks like these days, and I decided a few years ago that I wasn’t going to speak up unless it a) came from a place of scriptural truth or some place of good will/the desire to see right and good done, etc. b) absolutely eating me alive to the point that silence felt like a disingenuous lie.
I also made a resolution to stay away from political engagement of any kind (online in particular) around this same time. I typically don’t even go there unless I sense some common ground and an openness to other perspectives. I have a college degree that includes a bit of political study (minor, but that’s still a lot of classes and a LOT of “The Federalist Papers”), but these days it’s pretty clear that everyone else is an expert – not me. That’s the funny thing about the world, and particularly the U.S. right now. The most intelligent people I meet are often unsure, still searching, or still studying. The least intelligent…well, they sure do seem sure. I’m not a persuasive enough person to be able to contend with that rotten cocktail of hubris and misinformation. I can’t save the world from media illiteracy. I can’t save the country from it’s own prideful destruction (read into that however you wish). I can’t convince people to fact-check their stuff before they share it, or the stop getting their political opinions from memes created by 19 year olds. All I can do is teach my kids not to offer unsolicited opinion on other peoples’ kids named Blaze and medium-rare steaks.
But on occasion…I’ll have something to share from the heart. That will be here. With “Re: (Insert Topic).” I’ll always strive to keep it kind. I’ll always strive to keep it honest. I’ll always strive to maintain focus on what is right versus what is wrong, truth vs. falsehood, light vs. darkness. And maybe you’ll dig what I have to say, or maybe you’ll be utterly horrified and decide I’m an idiot or a horrible person. Either one works. I don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea…and I think we can all agree I’m dark coffee anyways.