So I admit it, I am a little bit flustered that a few followers left because of yesterday's post. I wasn't trying to offend, just giving you the view from my end of the pond so to speak. I guess this may be why my parents never talked politics and it is also why moxie can be a bit scary!
I certainly feel no need to apologize for what I said, my whole point was that I think it is important for people to feel able to be loud and proud of their beliefs even if others don't agree. It is fundamentally about respect. It is so easy to get get caught in a bubble, thinking you KNOW all the answers if you only surround yourself with people who think like you do. This is one of the tings I totally love about blogging. I can pop in on the lives of people with which I wouldn't otherwise interact. I can see the differences in our opinions and I can see the similarities. We all want what is best for our children and we are looking for ways to enjoy what life has to offer. Pretty basic stuff.
What bugs me is the folks who left may actually have had something I needed to hear. Perhaps their world view would make it possible for me to understand something new.
When I was 18 I participated in an AFS, year long cultural exchange program to Austria. When I arrived I was brimming with American patriotism and remember thinking how we did things back home was "so much better." As time passed, while my patriotism did not wane, I began to see that other ways of doing things just may be just as good or even better after all. The Austrian way of gathering for Fests which included people of all generations seemed to support community far better then I had ever seen in the United States. The small local farmer was a neighbor and friend so you never worried about the food's quality. You were there to see it grow! I also remember thinking, "How damn inconvenient they don't give you bags at the grocery store." and even recall telling a friend how great the USA was because of the free bags at our stores. At the time, I never even considered the amount of plastic and waste those free bags generate and that by carrying their re-useable bags those Austrians were far more environmentally conscious then we are.
I don't get to live in other cultures every day so the blogging community is my new exchange program. From it I have learned that Mormons aren't like the cultists pictured in TV movies, people who attend church regularly can swear up a blue streak, worm castings are the best food for your garden, homeschooling may be something I want to try, lesbian moms aren't considered cool by their teens either, there are crafts and art I had never fathomed, grandmothers more vibrant then some 20 year olds and whole big wide world of people I just can't wait to know!
Another thing I learned from that year in Austria is that most of the insights I gained came at the end of the year. It took time for my tourist eyes to become resident eyes and really have access to the information all round me. The more I read from your blog the more I am able to see things from your perspective. For those of you who stay, particularly when/if you thought about leaving, thank you for wanting to hear mine.