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LJ Idol: Topic 1/Week 1: Winding Up

I finished my sentence as my heart thudded in my chest and the flames in my cheeks began to die down. The embers still glowed on my olive skin as I touched my face, feeling the warmth. Seeds of doubt planted themselves in my brain as the professor moved on to the next student's comment.

People are going to think you're crazy.
Maybe you misunderstood that guy, and now you've just gone off on a rant for no reason.
Does anyone agree with me?

As a student, hell, as a human being, there are moments where I feel I have to stand up for something I know in my core to be true. I am constantly surrounded by people with differing and sometimes opposing views, and I would not have it any other way. I am a passionate person, though only certain topics wind me up and light the fire in my belly: politics, women's rights, child welfare, racism, homophobia being a few. I am prepared to discuss and, if necessary, defend my views on these subjects. They are part of the essence of me.

I am wound up by these subjects. Sadly, some people I know (good friends, even!) are afraid to even discuss them with me. Either they are unprepared, or unnerved by the fire that alights in me by a good discussion or debate. It is not because I fail to hear out their side of the argument, because I am willing and able to do so. At the same time, I should be allowed to express my views on the topic. Instead, I am considered "too sensitive", "too liberal", and, more recently, "snippy". Snippy? My passion is often mistaken for anger, and it has made some people turn away. My excitement for a good conversation, for an educated debate, is interpreted as irritation. It reminds me of something Ani DiFranco sang in her song, "Not a Pretty Girl":

I am not an angry girl
But it seems like I've got everyone fooled
Every time I say something they find hard to hear
They chalk it up to my anger
And never to their own fear


I have no desire to be surrounded by a million others who think and act as I do. I am a flawed human being, and I am constantly learning and re-evaluating my beliefs. It is part of the process of being human. What I would like, however, is for someone to see me get "wound up" about a subject and come toward me instead of running away at top speed. Rather than buying into the old adage that no one should discuss sex, religion, or politics, why don't we break every rule and discuss them all? Can't we clear the air and still be friends afterward? Even if we disagree, even if what you say makes my blood reach dangerous temperatures, I want to hear it. I will listen. I will always respect the person behind the words. I will never let politics get in the way of a good friendship. Winding up and feeling that fire, that spark within us, is one of the greatest things about life to me. It reminds me that I am alive and capable of feeling, of reason, of constructing a sentence.

Let's do it together. We can even like each other afterward.

Comments

awriterswindow
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
Got to have some Ani DiFranco in there! :) It's called "Not a Pretty Girl".

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