Obviously, I see myself as always right, I know everything, and all of my opinions are accurate and well thought out! Okay- I know you couldn’t see or hear me laughing as I typed that, but it was really hard to do with a straight face. I am NOT always right, nor do I know everything, and sometimes I spout an opinion on something with no more fact behind it other than that is what I am feeling at the time. We are living in a world where our opinions and feelings can span the globe in seconds and with all that information out there is gets harder to tell if an article is written by someone like me, or by someone paid to report a certain way, or by a subject matter expert. So as I put my thoughts and feelings on the Internet for all to see – I try to spend a little more time researching what I write – or at least trying to get my thoughts together in a coherent enough manner to present them as something other than complete nonsense.
I am often misunderstood. I can spend hours on a post ensuring that my language is not offensive (sometimes easier said than done) and that I post both sides of a story or issue. That will never stop people from reading one sentence and deciding that I am full of shit. That’s okay though – sometimes I am. I see myself as someone who thinks differently. Not better, not right – just different. I have always had the skill of perspective. I do see that as a skill. To be able to put myself in a situation and see all sides and then pick one. That’s why I don’t quite fit in with any particular group; political or social. While I identify right now as an almost militant liberal – that hasn’t always been the case, I just see the liberal stance right now as something that is needed in a world where we want to take rights from people, have government control our choices and dictate our feelings, and the obstructionist movement going on in Washington needs as many voices against it as possible. Our country is out of balance and I am on the side right now that can help even the score a little. I do have some very traditional conservative views – but right now I feel it is more important to focus on children, education, families, and equal rights; all very liberal things. When I was in the military I voted Republican quite a bit – they used to be the defenders of my pay and benefits (not anymore though).
On the religious side of things – I see myself as non-religious. I see religion as a blight on humanity. Sure some of them have good intentions, but when do those good intentions disappear? When the religion makes enough money? When a religion has enough followers? When a religion gains social acceptance? Religion is a human construct used to serve human needs and while that in itself is not a bad thing – it becomes a bad thing when we use that religion to persecute those on the outside of it – which every religion eventually does. I pray, but it’s not to a specific deity – my prayer is more of a form of meditation. When I tell people that “my thoughts and prayers are with you” it is not that I am asking God to fix something, it just means that I am sending positive and supporting thoughts out into the universe – energy from me to them. In some cases that is all I can do. I want to be a part of a positive collective conciseness whether those thoughts and prayers are directed at a deity or not – I believe there is power in prayer and meditation when we use our energy for something other than asking for God to fix our financial situation or get us a new shiny bike for Christmas.
Now when I write about these things I am not looking to change people minds, all I am really doing is putting my perspective out there and asking people for feedback. That is how I learn. This is how I have become a tolerant person. It is not about agreement – it is about understanding. I see myself as an emotional explorer. Some people rock climb for a thrill – I get to know people and their motivations as a thrill. I see myself as a seeker of knowledge in all it’s forms. I see myself as a lifetime learner – and it is my opinion that when you decide to be a lifetime learner concrete belief systems fall away. I think it is unhealthy to believe in just one thing. It is for me anyway. When I find myself focusing on just one thing to be passionate or outraged about – I try to force myself to step back and evaluate why I am so entrenched in a particular issue.
I see myself as a chameleon of sorts. One of the things Stephanie says she loves abut me is how adaptable I am. She credits this adaptability to my time in the military – and I would have to say that on many levels that is a correct assumption. You have to be adaptable to serve in the military but not all people who serve are adaptable (especially when you get into the higher ranks). Generals are not adaptable people – they have an agenda that was handed to them and they will do anything, right or wrong to meet that agenda. Power corrupts. Even in the military. Sometimes ESPECIALLY in the military. Once you get to a certain point, you no longer have to adapt because you can make your own rules or the rules no longer apply to you.
As for the negative sides of me, I see myself as overly emotional, and I fail to temper those emotions at times. I am opinionated to a fault, and I doubt myself in so many ways it is a wonder that I have any confidence left at all. I am effected by people who don’t like me. I REALLY like for people to like me. It’s is important to me even though I know it shouldn’t be. At the same time, I want people to stay away from me. I am contradictory in many ways but I don’t always see that as a bad thing. I try to not be a know-it-all but because I have so many options and I am well read – but I tend to think I know more than most people. I realize that is an unfair assumption and speaks to a flawed self confidence; but it balances my doubts brought on by low self esteem. Did you know that you can think you are awesome and not worthy at the same time? Did you know that is sort of normal (if we can define normal).
We all have these things. Things we are proud of and hold on too and things we need or want to change about ourselves. We all have opinions and we all think that our opinions are superior to others- no matter how tolerant you want to be of others. I think the key to tolerance is to understand yourself – and the more we understand ourselves and evaluate why we think they way we do; that is what makes us more tolerant of others. I don’t have to agree with everyone to accept them. I don’t have to join their cause to show that I am tolerant of them. I just have to understand that I feel what I feel and others do the same. We don’t have to like it but listening to those other perspectives helps us to define our own.
How do you see yourself? Have you put much thought into it? In the comments, state three weaknesses and three strengths about yourself. If there was one thing you could change about yourself what would it be?