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…perchance to dream…

June 2, 2011

It is no secret that I will occasionally engage in internet debate on various subjects that matter to me.

For a long, long time, my internet home for those debates was at Beliefnet.com.  Since leaving there, I have dipped my toe in any number of other pools, never really staying long in anyone place.

Inevitably I find myself bemoaning the lack of actual conversation, as people talk AT each other or around each other, the internet equivalent of shouting out our side with our fingers in our ears.

I long for passionate dialog that doesn’t resort to name calling or retreat behind “I believe it, that settles it” rhetoric.  I crave understanding the whys about belief, the reasoning for a political stance.

I get that the things I want to talk about bring about emotional reactions, knee-jerk responses that are often trite and rehearsed so that an opinion can be expressed without having to delve too deeply into that emotional pool, but if we don’t ever think through those emotions how will we ever understand ourselves, let alone others?

I want to talk about what you believe and why you believe it…what life experiences have lead you there, what religious epiphany turned your head around…I want to talk about what I believe and why I believe it…I want to understand you and I want you to understand me.

And yes, I want to talk about sexuality…not in specific terms necessarily, but in a broad sense.  I want to talk about what is sexually moral or immoral, and why.  I want to talk about alternative families and the differences between polygamy, monogamy, polyamory…about homosexuality, bisexuality, about being comfortable in your own skin, about being fat, about prejudice and societal norms.

But all of that is hard to do when people hide behind sarcasm and religiousity, when people are afraid to hear what someone else is saying and take a minute to imagine living in their lives.

Maybe it’s all a dream…the notion that we can talk, that we can understand an iota of another person…maybe I’m a dreamer…I hope I’m not the only one.

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