Could you, would you, at the polls?

Could you, would you, with a fox? (You know, from Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”).

Here’s my question: can you completely disagree with someone and still, somehow, have a friendship?

My friend AD is the polar opposite of me. She’s left, waaaaaaaaay left, on a whole different plane than me. We have had discussions about faith, politics, and social issues. We usually end up disagreeing, but the lovely part is that we can somehow (yeah, I know, cheesy) agree to disagree. And you know what? We’re surprisingly OK with that. At the end of the playdate, our kids nodding into their carseats, the juice boxes falling from grimy hands, we hug, make plans for another playdate soon, and go our separate ways, knowing that we’ll chat within a few days.

Would it be easier if we agreed? Sure, but definitely less interesting. People seem to gravitate towards those they’re on the same page with. But how boring is homogenity? (Homogeneousness? Noun form, anyone??) Simpler is not always better.

Do we try and “convert” one another? At least on my part, not consciously. In fact, the very characteristic that I like so much in her (and she, I hope, likes in me) is the difference in position. Giving each other a “run for our money”, as it were.

It reminds me a great deal of my husband, R. Coming from two cultures, we frequently run into differences of opinion on how things should be done. But one of the private vows we made to each other when we married was that we wouldn’t seek to convert each other. The very thing that made us different (in this case, religion) was one of the things we loved. Losing the difference means losing that which gives us such opportunity for connection. Sounds illogical, huh?

So I would, in a box. And I would with a fox. And a liberal, and a pro-choicer, and a Catholic. Would you?

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9 Responses to Could you, would you, at the polls?

  1. faemom says:

    That was a great post. I think it’s nice to surround onself with different types of view points. It’s nice to have people from differnt view points discuss politely those points. I think it’s great that you and your husband are happy not to convert each other. That’s how I grew up.

  2. antropologa says:

    Homogeneity, I think.

    I can, in brief. But not without some difficulty sometimes!

  3. Erin says:

    Oh yes I would!

    I’m an observent Catholic. I even have the seven kids to prove it. At the same time, I cannot support the Republican party and their agenda. The only thing I agree with is their stance on abortion and, honestly, I frequently believe they’ve glommed onto that for political purposes. George HW Bush is a good example. He adopted a pro-life ideology to get on the ticket with Reagan.

    Eh, I can’t get into it all. Suffice it to say I get a lot of conservative propaganda in my inbox and I hate it. I still love my friends though. I routinely let them know my more liberal bent and ask them to respect that I make my political choices with my conscience as I respect that they do to.

    I admit to fretting over the potential damage to relationships during this contentious election season. (People routinely saying things about how you are not Catholic if you vore Democrat? Untrue and hateful.) The fact of the matter is, however, I’m not flooding their inboxes with unwanted vitriol. They’re flodding mine. I’ll overlook it and look forward to moving on in January. If those I’ve politely asked to stop hold a grudge I can’t do anything about it. I have a lot bigger things to worry about–like massive mountains of laundry.

  4. evenshine says:

    Erin- hahaha! I know what you mean about the mountains of laundry! I think what you say is important- that you still love your friends, sometimes despite the propaganda. We’ve all become so incensed with the election that it’s easy to forget that it will all be over by the second week of November.
    Thanks for your thoughtful response! Come visit again soon.
    (And do you have a blog? Don’t see a link!)
    Cheers.

  5. Erin says:

    Oh yeah! I don’t know why it didn’t link.

    http://toshapeandtomold.wordpress.com

  6. Karen says:

    Great post. (now that I have a link to your blog.. your first comment on my blog did not) I am enjoying reading and getting to virtually know you.

    my family has a mixed background as well. My husband was born and raised in Ireland in the Catholic church. I was born and raised in the east coast of the US in a protestant / Jewish family. We sometimes are coming at things in two different ways. Sometimes we agree to disagree, sometimes we compromise, and sometimes one concedes to the other.

    I do love the diversity in my friends/family. It is good to have ones that support me in my beliefs but it is good to be “sharpened” against those I love who disagree with me.

  7. evenshine says:

    Thanks, K! It’s great to hear from diverse viewpoints, good to leave our prescribed circles and be “sharpened”. Blessings.

  8. thebenevolentdictator says:

    OK, now I’ll leave you one.

    My very good friend (we’re both Catholic) and I couldn’t be more politically opposite. In fact, I thought our friendship was doomed the day that she asked me, while we were watching our respective kids on the playground, if I ever listened to “Dr. Dobson.” That would be a big NO.

    I am a strict parent- I have lots of rules, lots of standards. Punishments are handed down to fit the infraction. There is a lot of taking away of play dates. early bedtimes, and sitting in corners when things don’t go the way they’re meant to. And, all without the help of Dr. Dobson or Dr. Laura, who I detest.

    But getting back to my friend, we have a great time together and agree on so many important things- raising children, good red wine, and stuck up ladies at the PTA. So…we don’t discuss it and we do just fine. : )

  9. Evenshine says:

    Thanks for the comment, BD! I think it’s always beneficial to talk about the issues, without fear of losing a friendship. Of course, it takes a great deal of tact and diplomacy, which is hard to manage. Good luck and blessings with your friendship, and all your political debates! 🙂

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