Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I Learned From The Naked Hot-Tubbing Guy

People who know me know that I am a fairly, um, pretty much, well, mostly conservative person -- depending on how you define that term -- "conservative". I am Catholic. And if you really learn about Catholic teaching, you will find that it is neither conservative nor liberal, at least according to the contemporary understanding of those terms. And I believe in what the Church teaches. And this is why -- because it all really boils down to doing what is truly good for others. Doing what is truly loving. I can dig that idea. But, people would think of me as a conservative because of my neighborhood, my career as a wife and mom, the car I drive (unless they notice the Harley stickers on that minivan), the clothes I wear (but, you know, I am just not built for bootie shorts), and the fact that I homeschooled my kids (yeah).

Anyway, I -- this apparently conflicted individual -- would like to comment on a phenomenon that I am becoming increasingly distressed about. The US vs. THEM wars. The Culture Wars. The Chicken Sandwich Conflict. 

It seems to me that we, as a society, have almost completely forgotten how to talk to each other, how to listen to each other, how to empathize with each other. We are all so afraid of the "other side" that we have forgotten that the other side is made up of people. People who might actually be good, honest FRIENDS if we let them. Some of the most wonderful people in my life, people who have really been there for me, have had completely different opinions than me. Even on the "vital" issues of the day. 

Like the Naked Hot-Tubbing Guy. This guy was in my limnology class in college. A class with about 7 people, so we all bonded. He sat by me in his ripped clothes and shaggy ponytail. He had a really high IQ and a lifestyle that was a 180 from mine. He lived with his older lady friend in Marin County and would tell me about how they went naked hot-tubbing . He would also help me with my homework. And he was very kind. And I, in my well-kept blue jeans and cleavage-covering t-shirt, was completely charmed.

Let's hear it for the other side!

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