The choice, as they say, is yours.
Today is gameday in South Carolina – SC is traveling to Clemson for the biggest rivalry in these parts. Families are torn today. Friends are on opposite sides of the divide. One side will be unhappy tonight – and, I hope, they’ll be mostly wearing orange. Some folks will be mad. Some will be mouthy, whiney, offended – and that’ll be on both sides, win/lose/draw.
It happens in politics (if you’re on Facebook, you know what it was like just a few short weeks ago, and still on some walls today). It happens in Christian circles, and I’m sure in other faith communities as well. It happens at work, at home, in the midst of family members, and in juts about anything we do together.
I don’t like conflict. Lots of people think I do. I’m the one who asks the “devil’s advocate” queries often, asking the counter-question in order to get to something other than the status quo. But that doesn’t mean I like to be at odds with the room.
It happens, though – and sometimes it makes folks angry that I don’t stay on the dotted line very well.
Or rather, they choose to be angry. Or if not actually mad, then to still treat me and my questions/statements as a hostile, as someone coming along with heresy and blasphemy at worst, with stupidity and childishness and in need of education at best.
Different ideas, different opinions, different expectations does not an enemy make.
But I choose to be offended. I choose to be angry. I choose to let someone else hold sway over how I feel about myself, about them, about life, the universe and everything.
But you choose to be offended. You choose to be angry. You choose to let someone else hold sway over how you feel about yourself, about them, about life, the universe and everything.
Or, I choose to not.
I choose today to not be angry, to not be offended, to not give someone else the keys to my emotional state.
We get to choose. Yes, it’s harder when the folks closest to you are the ones choosing to be offended, to be mad, to label you as the opposition. But it’s still your choice. It’s still my choice.