Convictions

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s summer and collective noses aren’t “to the grindstone,” but it seems that people have quite a lot of input on current events lately. Anybody else feel that way? Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been holed up in my apartment all summer with classes and I check social media too much. I consider it “taking a break.”

There have been a lot of things to talk about I guess. Horrible events involving guns and sexual abuse. Election campaigns, marriage rights campaigns, health care campaigns. It just seems that SO many people know where they stand on stuff. Does it bother me that they do? Or does it bother me that I don’t have the same intensity of conviction?

Back in 2008 I was pretty outspoken about who I was voting for in the election. I don’t remember how much I posted on Facebook about it, but it was clear among all of my friends. I was snarky about it, arrogant, and got into some arguments with people. Which is not a good idea for me because I’m TERRIBLE at debating. It was also during that time I learned that a friend had a mantra never to post anything negative on social media because there’s already enough negative stuff everywhere.

I liked that, and adopted the mantra myself. I fail sometimes though, particularly when it’s really hot outside or when I feel I’ve been taken advantage of as an accompanist, albeit unintentionally. I try to post things that reveal my personality – the crazy and odd stuff that I love, like classical music, being a grad student, music therapy. Videos that make me squee and blog posts that have me pointing to the screen shouting, “yes!” And, you know, stuff that I know will get a few likes and comments (we all do it.)

So what am I getting at? Maybe I’m just a wimp, or I want everyone to like me, but I never feel like publicizing my opinion on hot topics. I’d rather be hidden on Facebook because I’m boring than be hidden because I’m so outspoken. Mostly, I’ve come to realize that I really don’t know anything about anything. Therefore I can’t justify having such a solid opinion.

With that said, there’s nothing wrong with expressing your beliefs about something. Free speech…free country…right to have an opinion…got it. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it seems that people get all fired up about things that may seem incredibly important (and maybe they are to the person, who am I to judge?) but really….really – really – they’re not that important.

Am I wrong to wonder if people outwardly express their convictions on seemingly black-and-white issues because it hides the fact that, deep down, they really don’t know themselves? I could totally be off base. Maybe it’s just me.

When I was in college I was a black-and-white Christian. My dad knew it and sat me down one night telling me his story of college and how he used to be the same way. He wanted me to understand that most of the world is gray. I told him thanks, but you’re wrong. He said that it was important to know your convictions, but not to be so “salty” about it. You are the salt of the earth, but salt is flavor. As my grandpa would say, no one likes a salt sandwich. Now I know he was right. I’ve changed a lot since then. I live in gray. Maybe that’s why the black-and-white stuff feels like it screams. Make no mistake, I absolutely hold black-and-white convictions that are the pillars of what I believe spiritually. But I don’t think being a Christian means you know where you stand on everything. It just means you have a way of seeking the truth. From a God who doesn’t take sides.

Someone once told me that many people think love and hate are on opposite sides of the spectrum (much like people think faith and doubt are). But the opposite is true. Love and hate are SO close together. It’s a fine line. In a gray world, black-and-white issues walk that line. Is it love, or is it hate? Or fear?

I prefer love. 

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One comment on “Convictions

  1. Maahir Shah says:

    Great stuff. You’ve written with an open and honest mind and heart!

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