Friday, February 15, 2013

Like Minded

I love to be with people who think like me and who share similar values.  It is comfortable. It is less stressful. It even feels relieving and affirming.  When I am with people who are similar to me, I feel validated that what I think and feel is legitimate.

I also feel more comfortable when I am with someone who is "like me" who is in a similar socio-economic status or aspire to be better than our "place". I like when my children find similar children who also affirm our values. I feel twinges of discomfort when my children play with other children who are either richer or poorer than us.  Yes, I even feel prejudice toward families of "higher social economic station" (maybe even more so!)  When I say that, immediately I expect to be judged.  I am sure I could even be alienating my readers in one way or another.I am not proud that such judgements even cross my mind, but I am assuming I am not alone in thinking in this way.  It is ingrained in our culture. There is also groupings based on education, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation.  The list goes on and on in just how may ways we group ourselves.  And how much it creates divisions of "us and them" on so many levels.  Republican/Democrat. Some people even talk about moving to another country because they do not like how many Rs or Ds there are.

I often hear other people proudly state that they want to be with other "like-minded people".  I hear this from both liberal persons and conservative.  (which one am I?)  I'm not telling!  (-;  Actually, I am officially "neither" and both.

I have been thinking about this lately and it is ridiculous!  It is starting to sound silly when other people say it. I understand it. (all too well)  It didn't used to sound odd to me, but now it does.  It used to make sense especially when you are talking about "sustainability" Of course I want to be around other people who believe in taking better care of our planet!

(Funny thing about that, though, I know many liberal and conservative people who are very sustainability minded)  I also know both sides of people who are very much into homeschooling their children. In this sense, both liberal and conservative persons are like-minded.  Although, they might live on different camps within those groups of home schoolers and homesteaders.  I do, think they both care about their kids and the planet.

In any case, I am shifting my paradigm officially.  I instead of striving to be with "like-minded" folks, I wish to push myself outside of my comfort zone and seek to be with "diverse" folks.  Because within those people who are "not like-minded" I often find "common ground"  in our humanity in one way or another.  Being with the same kinds of people becomes very homogeneous, homogenized, and it doesn't feel right.


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