There’s an old joke about the weather in middle Tennessee (and I’m sure it’s made its way round to other parts of the country) that goes like this:
Don’t like the weather in Nashville? Wait ten minutes.
Or something like that. The point, of course, is that Nashville weather can change on a dime and is quite unpredictable (just ask Davis Nolan). I got to thinking about that last night when pondering over how weird you all must think I am.
Let’s say you and I start a heated discussion, and we’re on absolutely opposite poles. We couldn’t be farther apart. The way things normally go with “normal” people, you would spout off your talking points, then I would spout off mine. We get extra points if we Fisk each other’s posts. Leave no argument behind, and all that. This is the way it normally works, and big fun is had by all.
But I don’t play the game right. Sometimes, you’ll make a point, and I’ll say, “Hmm – I never thought of it that way. You’re right”. Sometimes, although we might still disagree vehemently, I’ll look over the situation, deem it not worth the damage we might do to a potential alliance we might need later, virtually bow low, and walk away, sometimes even “giving up the point”.
Y’all must think I’m crazy. Maybe I am.
I got to thinking about this particular weirdness of mine, because last night I got a comment on a months old post , from someone I was quite angry with when I wrote the post. By the way, the comment was quite polite and eloquent. I’d love to say something about it, both good and bad, but to be honest, I just can’t whip up the proper emotion to engage anymore. Whatever made me so angry and depressed in January is so long forgotten that I couldn’t do it justice – in fact, here in the March sun my disposition is so different, I might even start arguing with myself.
Does this mean I don’t have rock-solid convictions? Activists on all sides wold probably think so. But underneath the tactics and momentary arguments, there is a foundation so strong it is unbreakable. The difference is that my convictions are of the eternal, and any discussions we might have, though important, are temporal.
When you can “see” eternity, and know, not hope, know that things are taken care of in that regard, it makes you see things here on earth quite differently. The storms that rage in our lives are so insignificant in the great scheme of things, it’s hard to get worked up over them, and even if we do, hard to hold onto for very long.
It’s not going to kill me if you don’t see things the way I do. Even if you do something that ticks me off greatly at a given moment…well, wait ten minutes.
There was a moment this weekend that I was so mad at Lintilla I couldn’t see straight. Let’s just say Nashville drivers + PMS = road rage incident. My anger at her for endangering the kids at that moment was so severe, I wouldn’t even talk to her for 30 minutes.
An hour later, the offense was forgotten, and we were planning our vacation. By the way, this kind of amnesia is quite helpful in keeping a marriage strong over the long haul. Love keeps no record of wrongs, I heard somewhere.
I’m also on a lifelong mission. I believe I can find common cause with anyone. The only people who cannot be befriended are those who do not wish to be befriended. I can disagree greatly with Sharon Cobb about the war, yet fight alongside her for the passing of Jessica’s Law. I can go toe to toe with Hutchmo about president Bush, but who could hold grudges against someone who loves the ‘Dores AND baseball? Aunt B and I disagree about many, many things – yet I find there are also many, many times we are on the same side of an issue, especially concerning how people treat one another. Newscoma? Sometimes I think she’s had a little too much of the Democrat KoolAid, but I can truly say she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and you’ll see my testosterone side if you mess with her.
Ginger is probably the
more slightly more liberal flip side of myself, and I’m sure we could never agree on who has the prettier daughter. But, my goodness, she sang in the Christ Church choir, and she’s led such an interesting life so far that I could listen to her stories for hours.
I can find common cause with libertarians like Katherine Coble, paleos like Campy, wonks like Hobbs and the apolitical like Sista Smiff and B-Mo. It just depends on the subject at hand. I’m pretty sure Mack and I have very similar views about immigration, even if he dismisses my housework skills as amateurish. I respect and admire Brittney, even if there’s a good chance we’d never, ever, vote the same way in an election, or see each other at church.
We’re all just people, and life here on earth is so short. About the dumbest thing a person could do with such a short time is cut himself off from someone over a disagreement. So, if you and I are going head-to-head about something, and I just bow out and walk away, I hope you understand. It’s not you, it’s me.