I tried something new today

Today, I decided to challenge my own beliefs on a few things political. Generally speaking I am progressive in terms of my beliefs and opinions, be it politics, work, life, love, etc. I tend to voice my opinion openly, sometimes doing a good job backing my opinions with facts that helped forge my opinion and other times not doing a good job supplying facts or inferences that shape my opinion. All good, that level of inconsistency does not bother me.

What does bother me is what happened today. Today I spent time being introspective trying to be truthful with myself. I asked myself the following question: What would happen if I took a step back and put myself in the shoes of many other Americans who have a different view on politics.

I was disappointed to get some aggressive and/or disrespectful responses from folks whom I know I share ideologies and beliefs with.. the mere fact I presented a challenge to even myself was met with haste by others. Nobody asked me why I was saying what I was saying, rather, I got general sentiment that, well, I was plainly wrong. That is it, I was just wrong.

This experience today got me a step closer to understanding why some folks who identify as conservative have ill feelings towards folks who are openly liberal in their beliefs and opinions. In a short burst of activity I felt like a target. A target because I had a different opinion. In fact, my opinion was not quite that different, I just expressed a moment of possibility and patience. I got ridiculed by some, not all, but some.

Today was a good day, actually. I learned. I gained a sense of empathy for those who feel differently than I.