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  • Michelle Lowe-Sterba

Walking Contradiction

I was out for a drive to day with my 15 year old daughter. Alone in the car is when we have our best conversations. She asked me if she has to pay attention to politics. I explained to her that politics will affect every part of her life, of course she needs to pay attention and stay informed. I suggested she start with figuring out what her core values are. Where does she stand on issues. Health care, women's health, LGBTQ, etc. All issues including moral issues always go back to politics. We have to ask ourselves hard questions every single day.

What I hope to teach her is to be open. Learn what others think and why they think the way they do. Be open to their interpretations and their opinions. Respect what they believe even if it is not the same as her.

I haven't always been that way. In fact it is a kind of recent turn of events. Maybe because of quarantine and having time to actually research. Maybe it is growth. I have always been more liberal in my beliefs with some conservative beliefs mixed in. And I still am. I am a walking contradiction. I have always struggled with seeing shades of gray with issues and what I believe. Everything has always been black and white. You agree with me or you are wrong. What I am learning as I navigate middle age is that there are soooo many shades of gray. Not one issue is black or white. Differing opinions is what makes us all unique humans and keeps thing interesting and gives us something to believe in! Every issue has many sides. And each side has valid arguments. At least that is the hope. Perception is reality. So you may not see the validity in an argument, but it is their reality and we have to learn to be respectful of that. We rush to name call. Its not a good look. We can do better. We have to accept the differences. It has to be ok.

On the flip side of that, there are so many things that we as Americans have become complacent in. Or we just don't know because we don't do the work to know. It infuriates me and makes me question what the heck we are doing. Why are we ok with some things that are going on. I am angry that we are not fixing things. I am blind to the reasons why. See, walking contradiction.

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