Monday, March 19, 2012

When it comes to politics--beware!

I just offended my brother and he just offended me. This has happened before. It may happen again. I thought I'd matured, but here I am again in another election season feeling an underlying unrest. Political tension. I wonder if there's been studies done on this. My brother accused me of being too sensitive. He's right. I over-reacted. I tend to do that when I feel really alone. The other night I went to a church social and everyone asked me how the caucus was. This surprised me. The only caucus that had happened was the Democratic one. I didn't think anyone had paid attention to the fact that I am a liberal, but I guess when yours is the only Subaru in the parking lot and even more of a giveaway is the Obama sticker on the bumper. One brother-in-law laughed about the sticker, told us if we wanted to make a statement to put it on the Ford F-250, but to "put it on a Subaru is redundant."

I didn't go to the caucus. I didn't go because when I've gone before I was asked to do a lot of work. I know I should want to do work for what  I believe in, but see I've campaigned hard for the last three state legislators running on the Democratic ticket in our district and guess what? No matter how hard you work, you can only expect to garner around 30% of the vote. I believed in each one of these candidates, believed they were the most qualified, but it didn't matter.

Some of the people who asked me how the caucus was may have thought I bristled a bit. I did, but I don't know why. I guess I expected to be teased, this happens to me sometimes. One friend wonders how I sneaked into Paradise. He introduces me as the only Democrat in Paradise. I can laugh  because he's a good friend of ours, but sometimes the jokes get old. Sometimes I've had enough. Contention makes me ill--actually physically ill--and a little bit depressed. In 2008 when we were having Thanksgiving at my house and of course well into the political season. I hoped the topic of politics could be avoided so we could have a nice day. So just to make sure I had a nephew whose wit is something of a wonder, write up a little spiel to get people to lighten up a bit. It worked even though I'd heard some were offended. See you just can't win. But we had a good time avoiding political discussions. See my husband and I are about the only ones except maybe a couple of the younger generation who lean liberal, so discussions tend to be heated and one-sided. 

I did a search on my gmail and found the spiel--Here it is. It might be good advice again. I hope my nephew doesn't mind. He's a great guy. And I love him dearly.

Thaynes aren't too much into football, really, so we have to find something other than pigskin to fight over at our Thanksgiving day gatherings. Politics, of course, is what it will inevitably descend to, or an argument over global warming or evolution. But, most likely, it will be politics, with many an epithet dropped about the "liberal whackos," "socialists," and "commi-pinkos" who are ruining this country. The Thayne fratriarchy will most likely close in phalanx-like on their lone dissenting sister who had the audacity to endorse a—dare I say it—Democrat on her blog. And with recent election results leaving us with a Democrat-dominated congress and a "spread-the-wealth" quasi-socialist president threatening to bring about, as Fox News and many a Rush-ditto blog would have you believe, a new New Deal, I'm sure there will be more than enough grist for grinding in the mills of the Thayne political machine. But perhaps we could take a cue from none other than the mainspring of Thayne family politics, Ezra Taft Benson, who learned a valuable lesson by observing his father. When his father's preferred candidate lost the election to a man he strongly opposed, young Ezra was surprised to hear him pray for the man who had won the election. "Son," he said, when Ezra asked him why he prayed for that man, "I think he'll need our prayers even more than my candidate would have."

And so, may we gather together this holiday season, just slightly east of Paradise, for a day of giving thanks—thanks for a new day—and perhaps in this season of change, we could try talking about the weather.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Enough

One of the constant blessings in my life are friends. True friends. The faces flash by as I recall my childhood and beyond. Friends have always lifted me wherever I've been in my life. Some people collect coins, stamps, spoons, or numerous other things. I collect friends. Every spot I've landed on this planet, I've been blessed with friends.

I have walking friends, lunch date friends, writer friends, art buddies, ski buddies, book-reading friends, hiking friends, DUP friends, church friends, Liberal friends, not-so Liberal friends, conservative friends, doubting friends, believing friends, online friends, not-on-line friends and so on. Then there are the friends who intersect in and out of several of these groups. And those who aren't in any of the groups, but still know how to be there when I need them.

I've been surprised by friends who recently have shown an outpouring of love and acceptance for me. Sometimes we're afraid to show who we are for fear that who we are isn't good enough, fun enough, smart enough, or whatever enough. I'm blessed with friends who see me and show me that it is enough.