Respecting other points of view
I have a tendency to be very headstrong, especially if it involves something that I feel passionate about. I’ve always convinced myself that I know instinctively what is right or wrong for me. As I have grown in maturity ( questionable!) I have had to rethink a lot of my hard held beliefs, Particularly about my attitude towards anyone who tries to alter my choices without justification. This has been very strongly engrained into my psyche, even as a small child I have had to fight for my often unorthodox attitudes to be given any serious considerations.
I was always dressed in beautiful clothes as a young girl & wasn’t allowed to question it, even though I wanted to be like my friends- I hated being different! As the years passed, my personal choices became very important to me & it has to be said that I have been known to deliberately dress inappropriately just to prove my point! I have also been know to stick my heels in over issues that were really non important, just because someone tried to force me to do something against my will. Of course this is a very silly attitude to take albeit one that many people subscribe to.
Occasionaly however it is worth rocking the boat if you really believe it necessary. One example of this was at school when I was about 13. I have always enjoyed all thing creative, partly because it allows self expression. My art teacher was always telling us how things ‘should’ look & had a nasty tendency to alter our pictures against our will. The final straw came when she actually took my paintbrush from me, against my wishes & totally transformed my work of art from something that I was happy with, into her vision of what it should have looked like. To add insult to that humiliation she then told me to pin it on the wall, ready to show parents that evening. I was a very reserved, nervous child who did as she was told at school & rarely got into any trouble, but this time I saw red!!! I REFUSED! Point blank NO! It was no longer my picture, I wouldn’t put my name to it! Even under threat of punishment I stood my ground. I got sent outside to reconsider my stance, but it actually strengthened it. Defiance gave me a feeling that I hadn’t known & I have to admit that it felt good. Yes I got into trouble, both with my teachers & parents but it was a lesson I’ve never forgotten.
Unfortunately standing up for yourself can often backfire if not kept under control. We all need to chose our battles. Being the winner loses it’s glory if you choose to go to fight over every issue that you disagree with. Equally unsuccessful is the attitude of always giving in just to keep the peace – this causes unexpressed frustration & anger. Balance as always is the key !
Following a very turbulent marriage, during which I found myself losing control of my own thoughts & actions, I had to work very hard to rebuild my confidence. I struggled for quite a while because I couldn’t get the balance right – I couldn’t find the right way of stand up for myself without being confrontational. With time & practice (and lots of failures) I have more or less learnt how to express myself, but it hasn’t been easy! I have grown very strong & now am no longer afraid to oppose something that I feel is unjust. This however can backfire, sometimes we can be so wrapped up in the injustice of something that we don’t stop to question whether we may have got it wrong.
Writing is a newly revived passion of mine & whenever I have created something that I feel pleased with, I protect it, mindful of the art teachers’ clumsy attempts at improving my artistic talents. I treat my new creations as if they are really something precious! Some might say that this is as it should be, but is it really?
I attend a writing class which I thoroughly enjoy, however I am not too keen on criticism or suggestions on how to improve my work. I tolerate them, after all I know that they are being said as part of the course- no one is above learning & to do that we have to accept that improvements could be made. This happened to me again today & although I accepted the feedback, I quietly told myself that it wouldn’t make a jot of difference – after all, it was MY WORK not theirs! I noted the suggested alterations but didn’t really believe it was necessary. However I found myself rewriting my story, following the alternative ideas, Mainly to prove to myself that my idea was better. But was it? Now I am not sure. That’s the point – I’m no longer certain. Both methods have brought pleasing results, but both very different. This has made me stop & have a total rethink, not just about the writing, that will find it’s form, but about re evaluating our beliefs & views.
We all know people who are totally sure that their way is the only way. We are usually in agreement that these people are very deluded, no one can always be right. But how many of us are happy to relook at ourselves & our stance over issues that we feel passionate about?
As we grow, we change, our outlook changes, our actions change, but do our views change? I know that I for one have radically changed my thoughts on things that I once would have fought tooth & nail for. We all need to follow, like or do things that work for us. We are not sheep. All of us have free will to think for ourselves, yet so many still follow their parents’ political views without questioning why. Too many women ( especially older ) agree with their partners views on everything, as if they aren’t entitled to think for themselves.
I’m not advocating anarchy. I’m a peace lover. What I am suggesting is that we all look at why we follow certain things. If after reassessing our reasoning we come back to the original belief, all well & good, at least those thoughts will be current & viable for us personally. In so many cases there is no right or wrong way, just different. As long as we are true to ourselves, then our opinions really are relevant.
I learnt a lot today at the writing class. (Once the dreaded pride was pushed out of the way.) I’m a learner, no more, no less. I’m inexperienced, that’s why I am at the class. I need to be taught. I don’t need to hang onto things out of principal. I can reassess, rethink & change what I’m doing or stay as I am. My choice. As long as it is my decision & done for the correct reason, then it really is ok. I can go with the flow, or swim against the tide, but I really should understand why I am doing it!
whether you agree with what I’ve said, or totally disagree, as long as it is your own free thought, then I am happy, this blog has done it’s job.
written with sincerity & love