Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Opinions

If there's one flaw I have it's that I'm a sucker for a discussion. I live in a country where it's hard to sit down and express opinions, and not have people think that you're trying to ram your ideas and ideals down their throat. To me an opinion is just an opinion, and unless you're telling me that you think that child molestation is OK I'll probably let you have yours.

I just realized something important about myself today and it happened, you guessed it, during a discussion. There's an ongoing discussion about resonance where I hang a lot on Facebook, and it's slowly developed into a sort of story of its own as the owner of the page keeps bringing it up in various forms. It's a bit duh, we all like people, places and things that resonate with us, most of us know it's so, but there's also that part of us that may not be so honest about what we really feel and want that may trip up the process.


Anyway, someone mentioned in discussion, and when I say mentioned I mean they wrote a bloody long post about it, that while they were fortunate (thank goddess they didn't say they were grateful!) to have a lot of people in their lives that they resonated with they had found that a lot of the time a group or clique will exclude people based on them not liking everything the people in the group liked and so on. They went on to say that their interests are so wide they always found they fitted into several groups at once and could never comfortably stay in one.

I realized that I'm similar in a way. I have a mind that's so hungry for information and input that I will gladly trawl all sorts of territory and company for it. I also have a knack for seeing where other people come from even if their opinion is completely opposite to mine. I used to think it was that I was swayed easily but I'm beginning to see that the more I become clear of what my internal boundaries are, the more sure I am about what's me and what's them. I still see very clearly why people end up with the opinions they do and it's not about being swayed at all.

I have a colleague at work who's currently on a crusade to convert me from being refugee friendly to fearing that they're consciously leaving their country to take over ours. The refugees we're talking about are, of course, Syrian and therefore Muslim.

My colleague grew up in Egypt and he's Coptic. I made the mistake of asking him if he ever had read to Koran - he was made to study it when he grew up - because he seemed to have misunderstood most of its message. (Please note, I've never actually read the whole thing cover to cover).

As cute as it is when he tells me that while he believes that God gives everyone 100% be it in looks, intelligence or other gifts, I have somehow cheated the system and ended up with 200% because I have looks and intelligence, the fear this man has for what he thinks is about to happen is so strong I can taste it. I've known him for 15 years and I never knew he was so afraid!

What started as a discussion has now become a crusade to make me realize that I need to take the threat of the Muslims seriously. I wish there was a way to really make him realize I'm a lost cause. My daughter has on more than one occasion asked me if I think that there's live out there in space and I always end up thinking the same thing: Unless they're knocking on my door and they're there in front of me I don't particularly feel curious about the subject; there's so much other stuff that I can learn about and be closer to. Same reasoning applies here. If they take over this country and there's suddenly Sharia law I'll fight or I'll leave. And, I will pray for Facebook God to smite them because even I can under certain circumstances embrace religious war.

I feel upset about the fear a lot of us still have for foreigners and maybe it's partially due to me being an immigrant myself. I've always been made to feel at home here, Aussies are a very generous and accepting mob, but I have Caucasian guilt I think. (Caucasian guilt is vaguely related to survivor's guilt.) That thing I do being grateful for being white while proclaiming I'm color blind when it comes to people's race is possibly a tad hypocritical too.

I want us though to get on with stopping global warming screwing up the whole planet before it's too late, and to stop squabbling about petty things like this. If people are running from oppression and death can we not just help them? Is that no the decent thing to do. I can't look at pictures of individual refugees and see them as an organized terrorist group. That doesn't work for me. I could be wrong but I think we'll get further if we treat them nicely than behave like complete prats.

I'm just saying.

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