For the last while, the posts on this blog have been almost entirely about unschooling. My political views on other things seem to have taken a back seat. And I wondered: why is that? Unschooling is the subject I'm the most passionate about, so it seems logical I write a lot about it, but there's more to it than that... When I think of writing something to do with my green anarchist views, I shy away from it, mentally. It kind of scares me to talk about it. Each time I open my mouth to state my views, or start to type a highly politicized post, I feel a rush of nerves. Why is that? I think it just comes down to the fact that I hate arguing. Like, really hate it. And if I am going to be dragged into an argument (some call it a "debate". Yes, yes, I know they're different. I just don't like either!), I want it to be a subject I have absolute confidence in my knowledge of.
Unschooling, for example. I still hate debating that subject, but it's the one subject I hate debating (very) slightly less than other subjects...
And, of course, I can *safely* post about unschooling on this blog with very little risk of arguments or debates. I know that what I'm most likely to get are just a few differences in opinions, honest questions, and interesting discussions... Good things
When things get into political views, and general worldviews, however, nowhere is "safe" anymore.
Many people find it strange that I hate debating. They say, often with a certain measure of disapproval, that debating is good for you, good for solidifying views, and is cowardly to avoid (well, no one has actually ever said the last one to me, I've just gotten that feeling...). Our culture seems to put a lot of emphasis on debating, and I actually find myself feeling slightly embarrassed when saying I hate debating, and usually avoid it. But really, just like anything else, people don't learn or develop in only *one* way. For some people, debating is very helpful in their learning process. For others, it's not. I just wish people would recognize that!
When I let myself get sucked into a debate (an argument to determine which arguer is "right", as if right-ness was somehow objective), I feel a spike in stress levels. Not a pleasant mental jump in alertness, just a spike of stress and unhappiness. Really, that's how much I don't like debates.
Discussions, however, I consider to be a respectful exchange of opinions and ideas. Totally different from an aggressive debate. Discussions feel good to me, energize me, give my brain a pleasant workout, introduce new ideas and ways of looking at things, help build friendships... Debates stress me, anger me, make me feel defensive, make me feel like my words are being judged and like my "opponent" is trying to rip everything I say to shreds, because, well, they usually are (isn't that what a debate is?). I also find that I'm far more open to new opinions and ways of looking at things in a respectful and friendly discussion than in a competitive debate.
I really don't mind at all if other people are happy to debate. But if someone tries to start one with me, and they push when I say I'm not into debating, it REALLY bothers me. And don't even get me started on people playing devils advocate when talking to me (when I argue something, I really, truly, and with all my heart believe in what I'm saying. I'm often talking about things that are vital to how I live my life, and are very close to me heart. If someone else is just arguing something they're not invested in at all, just for the kicks, I find it incredibly disrespectful. Again, have the sense to argue with other people who enjoy it, not with people who really care about what they're saying.).
So, having gone off on a major tangent, I come back to the reason why I'm nervous about posting things to do with green anarchy. Links to other things are fine: but when it's my own words, what if someone says something I disagree with SO MUCH in response that I have to tell them they're wrong, then I get sucked into a debate, and get stressed, and and and... You get the picture.
So maybe I should just close comments on especially political posts? But I love comments, generally, and want to hear what people have to say. I don't want to do that... You see the dilemma. So that's a main reason I write less about politics...
But I want to change that. There are thoughts and musings and views I really want to put out there. I just have to take a deep breathe, and be brave enough to do so!