32°F & Clear 7 day forecast Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Daddy needs some quiet time

Can we all just agree to disagree without saying a word? I make it a point to avoid hot button issues when talking to people I don’t know very well. Politics, religion, even my sexual preferences are topics that are off of the table when talking to strangers. Mind you, I’m an introvert so these conversations don’t happen often. But when they do, I find that avoiding these topics makes my day go so much smoother. While dialogue is indeed important, cohesion should also be taken into consideration.

On every social media site I belong to I log in to see an endless stream of angry rants about Obama stealing everyone’s guns in the dark of night, how unions are ruining the U.S. economy and other topics I really don’t care about. Well, I mean I care…but not enough to sit and read through all of those. Who am I kidding: I don’t read any of them.

On the bus last week, an older lady sat next to me. When I asked, “How’s it going?” she immediately turns to me, looks me in the eye and asked, “Do you know Jesus?” When I told her I didn’t go to church she seemed completely put off by me. We shared a special, awkward silence until I got off the bus. That whole situation could have been avoided if she just answered my question. Why did things have to get so heavy? Is it a pipe dream to have expected “I’m doing very well. My, you’re such a polite young man.”?. Probably.

Maybe it’s just me? I’ll admit that my introverted lifestyle has affected my opinions on lots of things. I don’t voice my opinion in the great life vs. choice debate because I don’t have a uterus and I feel like that should keep me from having an opinion on these things. I feel the same way about gay marriage; I’m not gay so I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell anybody what they can and cannot do. Imagine if people only commented on issues that directly affected them. I’m not talking about this ‘attacking my religion’ crap; I mean things that would legitimately affect their day-to-day lives. Things would be so much…quieter.

I understand that we as a country can only reach a common consensus through dialogue, but at this point it’s just a big shouting match. With all of this arguing, nothing is actually getting done. Roe v. Wade happened in ’73 and people are still arguing about it. This country is so polarized and stubborn. Everybody is screaming, nobody is listening and everybody is pissed off. I propose that everybody just stops talking about politics and religion for one week. Go see a movie. Go on a date. Stay at home and read the bible. I don’t care, just shut up for a bit. Daddy needs some quiet time.
nsmith@lanthorn.com



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