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  1. #1
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    Jul 2005
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    Why do you voice your thoughts/opinions?

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    I understand everyone has an opinion, I also understand it is your "right" to express it; my question is why do you express it? Are you hoping to change someone's views, find common ground, validate your process, degrade someone else, create an open dialog?

    I ask because recently I've been subjected to others uninvited/unwelcome opinions and it got me thinking about why they felt the need to share their thoughts and opinions, what they hoped to gain from it. Why they believe their opinion has any relevance.

    Electra Townie 7D

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Depends, were the unwelcome opinions on a forum?
    No, in person. Although your question makes me think about the different places we share our thoughts; forums exist for that purpose so I should have been more clear.

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    ...

    Do you live in a very conservative region compared to where you lived before? Is this where the questions originate?

    If so, here is my opinion. They're stupid.
    Thanks for the detailed reply, seriously.

    And yes, I now live in a smaller coastal southern town. I believe you are correct, and they seem to revel in this.

    Electra Townie 7D

  4. #4
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    That's where I'm at these days, not so much friends as needing some community. I've started looking to places in Orlando to go and visit and get a respite from the bigotry.

    Electra Townie 7D

  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    This was seriously a reason why I moved back to MA, from AZ. Now, that is not to say that there were not and are not today, others with opinions and beliefs similar to mine. But, in 1990 we saw the writing on the wall. Compared to the early 70s, when my parents moved to AZ, the politics totally shifted. I pretty much stayed within the confines of my little group of friends, connected to the JCC, a few colleagues, and people i knew from the university. And, I lived in a liberal, university city. But... I taught in the neighboring town, and really, got sick of of the prissy attitudes of a lot of the staff and some students, who mostly were members of a particular religion that is ultra conservative, mysonigistic, and racist. One of the male staff members told me that my husband should not *allow* me to watch cable TV . I did not like it when my 5 year old had to go on a tangent to explain to a grocery clerk why he didn't celebrate Christmas. I know people have different opinions, I just want to be around people who don't constantly try to tear down my beliefs. I am not going to try and change others. I stopped speaking to close members of my family (aunt and cousins) because of this. They may be the only Jewish conservatives in Massachusetts, but it ruined every holiday and family occasion. I don't have to justify myself to anyone...
    I just can't get past the part of me that marched on the Boston Common in 1968 and got thrown out of high school when I moved to Florida in 1969 and wore a black arm band to protest.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Are you hoping to change someone's views, find common ground, validate your process, degrade someone else, create an open dialog?.
    1 seldom 2 mostly 3 sometimes 4 i try to have a calm mind and a warm heart 5 i enjoy it when it happens.

    It would be nice if some people didn’t foster aggression/anger towards others by assuming what they should be like….but then I am also on a journey of trying to keep an open heart and trying to find a way to talk to others from the point of view of our good hearts. That’s easier, but can still be difficult at times, to do with family and even more of a challange with those who aren’t and make us angry with their thinking….be Pema in those moments!

    Yeah community IS important….hoping you find some comfort when finding it!!!
    remember….my thoughts were palm springs and weho back then
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 01-12-2016 at 10:03 PM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I don't really have a peer group where I live. Too conservative or much older. i actually wondered if you'd run into this when you said you were moving, but hoped you would be going to an area in Florida that was more tolerant.

    Any plans or hope of moving? I'm about 50 miles north of Savannah, ga. Are you far from me? Just curious. I assume you are if you can socialize in Orlando.
    This is home for the foreseeable future, we are nearing the end of our work lives and moving again would be cost prohibitive now. We are a couple of hours south of Jacksonville so several hours from you (I think?), and same here with much older people and far more conservative than we originally thought.


    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    1 seldom 2 mostly 3 sometimes 4 i try to have a calm mind and a warm heart 5 i enjoy it when it happens.

    It would be nice if some people didn’t foster aggression/anger towards others by assuming what they should be like….but then I am also on a journey of trying to keep an open heart and trying to find a way to talk to others from the point of view of our good hearts. That’s easier, but can still be difficult at times, to do with family and even more of a challange with those who aren’t and make us angry with their thinking….be Pema in those moments!

    Yeah community IS important….hoping you find some comfort when finding it!!!
    remember….my thoughts were palm springs and weho back then
    PS or WeHo would have been wonderful, wish I'd chosen a more lucrative career so I could have had more options.

    Regarding Pema, I've started taking time each day to read a little of her work while I sit at the beach. It's my zen place.

    Electra Townie 7D

  8. #8
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    Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    This was seriously a reason why I moved back to MA, from AZ. Now, that is not to say that there were not and are not today, others with opinions and beliefs similar to mine. But, in 1990 we saw the writing on the wall. Compared to the early 70s, when my parents moved to AZ, the politics totally shifted. I pretty much stayed within the confines of my little group of friends, connected to the JCC, a few colleagues, and people i knew from the university. And, I lived in a liberal, university city. But... I taught in the neighboring town, and really, got sick of of the prissy attitudes of a lot of the staff and some students, who mostly were members of a particular religion that is ultra conservative, mysonigistic, and racist. One of the male staff members told me that my husband should not *allow* me to watch cable TV . I did not like it when my 5 year old had to go on a tangent to explain to a grocery clerk why he didn't celebrate Christmas. I know people have different opinions, I just want to be around people who don't constantly try to tear down my beliefs. I am not going to try and change others. I stopped speaking to close members of my family (aunt and cousins) because of this. They may be the only Jewish conservatives in Massachusetts, but it ruined every holiday and family occasion. I don't have to justify myself to anyone...
    I just can't get past the part of me that marched on the Boston Common in 1968 and got thrown out of high school when I moved to Florida in 1969 and wore a black arm band to protest.
    I totally get this. It's very wearing to constantly be placed in a defensive position, especially when we aren't really interested in having the conversation in the first place.

    My long time friends like to joke that my tombstone will read "All she ever asked was to be left alone", not sure why that's so hard for some people, just leave me alone and I'll return the favor.

    Electra Townie 7D

  9. #9
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    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    I feel for you, Pax. This is why cost of living/employment isn't the only thing to consider when moving... the culture where you live is as important, unless you desire no human connection!
    I feel like this is the stuff that really can wear you down. It's a stressor, as much as financial stress or illness, in my book.

    Murienn, when I was in Beaufort for DS's boot camp graduation, I went into the Democratic party headquarters. This was in 2004, during the campaign between Kerry and Bush. I was feeling very out of sorts/agitated just being in a very conservative environment, and I was not looking forward to being on the base (I got over that part, a long time ago, since my son is pretty much his same, weird self). The woman in there was wonderful, and I talked with her for like 30 minutes. I wanted a Kerry button to wear on myself at the graduation, in part to make my views known. They didn't have any, so she gave me her own button, which I wore on my purse for the whole week. Have you ever thought about connecting with that group?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I totally get this. It's very wearing to constantly be placed in a defensive position, especially when we aren't really interested in having the conversation in the first place.

    My long time friends like to joke that my tombstone will read "All she ever asked was to be left alone", not sure why that's so hard for some people, just leave me alone and I'll return the favor.
    I think some of us could say the same about some workplaces where we've been. I have. It's not even having the conversation at all. People just having certain attitudes and expressing it in multiple subtle ways and behaviour as well.

    Sometimes it's not just validation we might want to hear, but hear more real, different experiences from the other side. Learn something. I'm open to that as a person who does have some strong views and hope the other person would as well.

    For enjoying retirement, I most definitely would not want to live in a predominantly conservative area where basic my core values and my life experiences were undermined/ignored often. I feel for you, Pax. Where I live, is Canada's oil prairie rangeland heartland here in Alberta. It's taken long time locals to change... it's amazing though, what a difference just having a highly articulate mayor, Canadian-born (East Indian and Muslim), can change the face of a city by reminding people to be tolerant and open...Canada is taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees. It disappoints me, the attitudes of some Americans that we read in the press. Very extreme. (Trump is not helping and fuelling a lot of ignorance.)

    I also tend to judge "community" in diversity --not just the people, but how the city/an area expresses creative, forward thinking that embraces diversity : arts, regular events, the nature of local non-profit organizations and the local press. And who is in local power --is it homogenous or is there some power sharing in decision-making how public funds are spent, etc. Sometimes if a town/city has 1-2 local universities /colleges with strong programs that draw students internationally, can be a help. For myself, it's a source of learning by taking a course or 2. Online learning does have it's limits, at times.

    I probably would get bored living in small, homogenous very small towns...after awhile. I don't need constant external stimulation but my personal inspiration is drawn from interacting with a broad range of people, what they do also. So more local diversity helps me grow too.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 01-13-2016 at 05:14 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  11. #11
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    Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    It's about 5 hours south of me, I think.

    You are at least close to St. Augustine. That's a beautiful town. Ever been there?
    We've been there several times, it's lovely!

    Like you I lean farther left than the party, I'm interested in primarily LGBT issues and while there is some action on that here, it's very subtle. Coming from a major university town I'm used to huge amounts of activity on the issue, and also tremendous diversity. Here, I actually find myself driving through what locals refer to as "the bad part of town" just so I can even momentarily connect with people of another race.

    I'm still job hunting, since 55 is too young to be done unless you're well off, my hope is I'll find something with a decent salary so maybe we can keep this place for the winters and escape to civilization for another part of the year.

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    216
    Sometimes I find myself expressing opinions so I don't "lose" myself. At least at work (where I seem to spend a pretty substantial amount of time) I'm surrounded by the conservative, old white male network. I sometimes voice my opinion so they KNOW I'm different, so they stop assuming that I'll just adopt their opinion, and so I remind myself that these aren't my values. When we have disagreements I rarely win, but it makes me feel better (and I feel less like I "lost" when decisions don't go my way) if I make sure that I've expressed my opinion. Other times I'll express my opinion (at least when we're making decisions) because I feel very vehement about something and I feel that change is a process and it can't start if I don't at least speak up. While I might lose the point, the next time the discussion is a little bit easier and eventually I might win.

  13. #13
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    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Here, I actually find myself driving through what locals refer to as "the bad part of town" just so I can even momentarily connect with people of another race.
    I spend time each week in some of the more poverty stricken areas of south central los angeles having conversations and making meaningful connections while either doing community based non-profit work or my photography. It’s some of the most satisfying time I spend! It has touched many parts of my life and given me a sense of being part of and doing meaningful community work in a holistic and caring way.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
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    my question is why do you express it? Why not?

    Are you hoping to change someone's views:
    Depending on discussion, maybe! Or give them food for thought. They may seem to brush off an idea but sometimes, in the back of their head the little mouse is spinning. i.e. I used to be very involved in the fight against puppy mills. Did a lot of sensitization, booths, etc. Show them what this is all about and how as a community, we can turn things around. It took years of frustration. I had to get away from it as it started affecting my life (I was "just" a volunteer) and others kept the fight and it paid off in Quebec. Lots of petstores now don't get their pets from mills, but come now from shelters. So yes, I will voice and do what I have to do when I know my fight is worth it. Even if only one person out of 500 walk the talk, it is a won battle. Not the war, but better for this major problem.

    I always try to use the positive approach and would never want to take down someone who is not on my side. But I can be pushy and come up with very valid reasons to prove my point. If I am unsure, I will do my homework and come back later, if still needed.

    Would I get into a conversation if not ask? It depends of the subject.

    I ask because recently I've been subjected to others uninvited/unwelcome opinions and it got me thinking about why they felt the need to share their thoughts and opinions, what they hoped to gain from it. Why they believe their opinion has any relevance.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  15. #15
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    Illinois
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    I just realized I hadn't answered my own questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I understand everyone has an opinion, I also understand it is your "right" to express it; my question is why do you express it? Are you hoping to change someone's views, find common ground, validate your process, degrade someone else, create an open dialog?
    Why - because words, chosen carefully, can have transformative powers on both the speaker and the listener.

    Generally I hope to find common ground or failing that, to educate, to create an open dialog.

    I'm not a fan of arguing and confrontation;

    - In person I have enough mental quickness, verbal skills, and strength of personality to decimate most of the people I encounter. I enjoyed that when I was younger and going toe to toe with a bigot, now I'm tired, now I want peace.

    - Arguing online is pointless unless you know the person IRL, you don't know their motivations, their true thoughts/beliefs, and many times you end up getting involved in a debate with someone who has no real interest in the topic, they just enjoy argument.

    Electra Townie 7D

 

 

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