Disagreements: 7 Quick Takes

I'm talking about Disagreements this week because it just seems timely...

Thin Skinned?
I used to be a little thin skinned. I took all criticism as a personal attack and I would just shrivel like a dead spider every time I heard a negative word. Thanks to my husband, I now consider myself to be fairly thick-skinned. That sounds bad... I don't mean that he has attacked me until I toughened up... I mean that he has helped me become a more reasonable person, to think clearly, and also to find enjoyment in a hearty debate. In fact, I find that I've become a little like him, and I feel a rush of excitement when someone begins to engage in a difficult or controversial topic. Part of it is the thrill of that intellectual stimulation, but even more is that feeling of seeking after the truth with others. Ideas and words are important and worth refining until we get it right.

The change for me practically speaking is that when I hear words spoken (or read them), I am more inclined to think about the literal meaning first, rather than trying to interpret according to my emotional state.  For example...

We've had a rough day and didn't get much accomplished. Husband walks in the door and asks where his slippers are. We fly into a rage because, through our self-focused lens, we interpret "You lost my slippers you lazy, incompetent wife." In reality, he loves us, respects us, treats us kindly.... and all he really wants to know is where his slippers are.

Ever done that? Nah... I haven't either.

The Baby Cries.

This has been a subject of debate between the Chief and I. He thinks that our littlest is fussier than her nearest siblings. I have argued that she isn't much fussier. When the wee lass starts to wail, he tends to shoot me a knowing look and I frown.

Last night, we attended Mass as a family. Peaches screamed in the car on the way and I got a cheerful I told you so from Chief. I frowned. She also cried when we got to church, outside the church as I walked her around the building a few times, and up and down the sidewalk. Then she cried all the way home.

Yes, dear husband, the baby cries a bit. I concede.

Pro-Life Divisions.

I will be participating in the Social Media Silent Day of Solidarity next Tuesday and posted about it here. I encourage you to consider participating as well  and hope you do, but let me add one thing...

You don't have to. You can do what you want. Be pro-life that day in whatever way you fit best. I assume that goes without saying with these special days and events and theme parties, but I know misunderstanding is easy. I upset someone by promoting this event because it is on the same day as another pro-life day: The National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. The feeling was that by promoting one, I was undermining or disrespecting the other.

But Pro-Life is not a cause. It is not a group. It is not a political machine. It does not demand that we hold up a sign on this day for this period of time. It is an obligation of love for all Christians and we are called in unique ways and speak to the beauty and sacredness of life every day of our lives. Sometimes, we are called to stick together and take a stand against injustice and often times we should...

On Tuesday, I will be doing just that. I think bringing awareness to the horror and injustice of abortion is one of the best ways that I can honor the life of the child that I lost. On social media and here on this blog, I will be speaking out with red tape. I will also be personally recognizing loss that day and praying for the children and their grieving families.

Teenage Dating.
This is a tough subject and I knew my article at Catholic Exchange would raise a couple eyebrows. I was not disappointed and I would love to hear more thoughts on the subject. Take a hop over there and add your thoughts. There were also some great perspectives shared on my Facebook page and I invite you to share there as well.

This is a topic that is confusing because hardly anyone bucks the social trends these days. Our teens get sucked in. We get sucked in. And trying to walk counter-culturally is someone very few people understand or honor.

Lena from Joyfilled Family shared a link on Facebook to a priest preaching on dating. It's only 20 minutes and really worth a listen. Hang in there and listen to the whole thing. The points are very interesting and worth reflecting on. Occasions of Sin and Company Keeping

Perhaps you can help me with a situation. My 6-year old is adamant that the purple plate is superior to the orange plate and refuses to eat her eggs off of the latter. I contend that orange is a lovely color and furthermore, the color of the plate one is eating off of makes little to no difference in the taste of the food.

If you do give your opinion, please be advised that your opinion won't matter to Jellybean in the least.

Internet Discussion.
I have noticed an interesting trend in the comments sections of internet posts and articles, and that is that  a sizable percentage of commenters don't actually read the articles. They skim. If they read the posts carefully, they would be able to comment on the actual words written instead of something strangely different. Did you ever notice that some comments don't seem remotely related to intent of the article?

I've done this and looked back later a little (actually a lot) red-faced when I realized that my comment was not only irrelevant but just plain stupid. It comes from the human tendency to look at everything through our self-centered glasses. We like our thoughts and want to share them. We start reading about a subject and instead of being attentive to the writer's words, we immediately begin to apply our experiences and opinions without giving the writer a chance to "speak" first. If these were face-to-face conversations, the equivalent behavior would be frequent interruptions, looking about at other things, and only catching some of the speaker's words. In other words, rude.

Many online scuffles could be avoided if commenters (including me) would simply read carefully, read a second time, then say a prayer before actually commenting. If I could go back to all the comments I've ever written, I'm sure I'd simply eliminate at least a quarter of them for being too self-focused or just plain dumb.

Need I say more? What I love about my teens though (among other things) is that their irrationality is brief. Granted, those times where they lose all sense can be a little wild... but if I just hang on for the ride, they generally return to themselves within a couple hours. Or at least a day. And do you know what I've noticed? If they are well fed, well rested, and have an energetic, productive occupation, they are usually as sweet as honey.

A side note (because it's too lovely not to share): Last night, when she was supposed to be in bed, my 6-year old came downstairs (for the 7th time) to show us the boo boo on her toe. As she was skipping in she said, "Cookie just told us that she's happy because she can tell mommy anything." Hello happy mama.
Professor happily engaged in debate with his uncle.

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
Posted on October 11, 2013 and filed under "7 quick takes".