being brave and speaking my mind on important topics is hard. especially when i always try to be so careful not to upset or anger people. if i know my thoughts on a subject are different, i do my best to avoid talking about.
yet, there are some things that i feel very strongly about, things that i believe in with all my heart. these are the things that i am trying to teach my children, important values that i want to instill. some are basic, but i realize that some are more controversial.
i know that as we go out in the world, we'll encounter people who are different than us, people come from different backgrounds and hold different beliefs. i like to think that i have a very open mind. as long as it doesn't affect me or my kids, i don't really care what others believe. jesus or budda or the flying spaghetti monster, i feel like you have the right to worship whoever you want. but you don't have the right to tell me who or what to believe in. and if i believe differently, you can't tell me i'm wrong simply because your god tells you that i am. my god is one of compassion and acceptance, of tolerance and love.
it's harder still when we want to be a part of things, join organizations and such, and the benefits for my children seem to outweigh the costs of keeping silent. but then sometimes it feels very wrong to keep quiet, like we are all pretending that nothing is wrong by not talking about it. or everybody assumes we all agree on all things just because we are not as vocal with our beliefs.
i feel so weak, and i wish that i could stand up and tell everybody what i really think. because though they haven't always been talking specifically to me, i know their thoughts and views on most things. especially way back in november, they made it very clear what they believe in and what they think others should believe in too.
i'm afraid, also, that if i do find courage to say something, it won't just be me that loses out, i'm afraid that their retaliation would affect my children. now i don't know for sure that it would happen, or that anything would change, but i'm sure i'd be the talk of their little circle. it's hard enough sometimes to explain the cruelty and unfairness of the world to my boys, but then to try to explain to them that they can't be friends with others simply because their parents are so close minded, i know they wouldn't understand. i had a hard enough time trying to explain what slavery was when it came up in their social studies homework. because when they ask you "why would a person do that to somebody else?" i just didn't have a good answer.
and i guess that's my problem. i don't really have a good answer for any of this. i just want people to be happy and treated fairly. and i can't understand why everybody doesn't agree with that.