Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Assumptions (with an addendum)

There are a few characters in my life that have somehow, somewhere, someway gotten the impression that I lean in a particular direction politically and religiously. I’m not sure where they would get this particular idea, as I have not disclosed to these folks how I feel about either discussion. Nor have they asked. But I feel the need to put a stop to the endless email forwards they consistently send me. Or, as I feel sometimes, the spam they assault me with. I’m just not sure how to do it without sounding completely catty or rude.

Could you please quit sending me these political emails screaming your current disdain for our President or other political/religious leader?

Or how about…

Please stop assuming that because I hang out with you or go to a specific church or hang out with a certain mutual friend, that we have the same political/religious belief.

Yeah, not so nice, huh?

Yes, I have many friends that have a particular religious and political slant. I have friends that are on the total opposite spectrum of those beliefs. Believe it or not, some of those friends worship under the same church roof! I love having different friends with different beliefs, because it teaches me both sides of the story and teaches me to respect differences. BUT...it does not mean that I agree with every issue or doctrine, nor does it mean that I box myself in with a title of Republican, Democrat, Baptist, or any other label I could glue to my bumper. Why is it that with these type of titles, it’s always an all-or-nothing package? Especially since the definition of some of those titles can be totally different for different people. I don’t get it. Why is our world so black and white? Why have these characters assumed because I have a specific belief or tenet that they have the freedom to stick a title on me? It’s bothersome.

And as I write this, venting my own frustration, I am wondering…do I do the same thing to others? Do I stick titles or labels on someone because I have a tiny glimpse into their thoughts and assume they feel XYZ about other stuff too? I’m sure I do. Assumptions. Dangerous things. And suddenly wondering where I need to make my own amends…

EDITED TO ADD: Please do not worry that I'm speaking specifically of anyone that reads this blog. The folks that I have mentioned are not close friends, nor do they even know about this blog. So please don't worry about me pointing a finger at anyone of you readers through a blog blitz. I just happened to find my soap box and decided to stand on it specifically because I knew some of you would understand. :-)


Mandi said...

I wish this post had a 'Like' button!!

Leslie said...

Amen Sister!!!

Pandamonium said...

An assumption I've dealt with recently is the reactions I get when people find out I'm a stay-at-home mom for the time being. Apparently that means my husband is loaded, I don't care about having a career or profession (or weren't able to), that everyday home with my child must be just heaven, and I have oodles and oodles of time on my hands. :)

I'm sure everyone can recount a story of a time where making assumptions made them look like an idiot. I certainly can!

Monkey Momma said...

Oh yes, Amanda. The Mommy Wars is another topic that I'd discovered brewing. It makes me sad that us women, working out of the home or in the home can't find a common ground to support each other instead of tear each other down. Fortunately, I have not found that to be the case in our circle at church and I certainly hope I've never made assumptions about your situation.

(Although, admittedly, I've made assumptions that most SAHM couples are probably NOT as financially stable as a two-household income. And then I look at our financial INstability as a two-income household and laugh...what a silly thought. We're broke too. Hahaha!)

All that to say, that yes you're absolutely right...I KNOW I've made assumptions in the past on every topic out there. But now, instead of letting my hackles get raised when someone crosses me, I'm attempting to let God use it as a mirror:

Am I doing the same thing to others that make me so frustrated when they do it to me? I haven't liked what I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I think we all do that to a degree. We acquire little snippets of information about a person and then "classify" them in our minds. Or, maybe I'm just talking about me. :\