Until the bees came out…

It’s been a couple of years now….

I have a policy, I refuse to argue about current events, religious debates, cultural stuff, etc.

Doesn’t mean I don’t have  opinions, and doesn’t mean I won’t talk about them with you,  it’s just, 95% of the time those interactions are fruitless and drive people apart, rather than result in something positive, ie. like mutual understanding.

On top of that, I simply do not have the time to be conversant on every current “issue.”

Most of the time, the other party is not interested in understanding, they just want to vent.

I’m not doing it. 🙂

Last time it happened, I learned my lesson.

++++++++++++++++++++++

In the   25  23 years I’d known this woman, there had never been any tension in our relationship/ ever..

Until that one day….

Something on the news had gotten her agitated.  I could sense she wanted to vent.

I listened.

Finally told her, I didn’t want it to degenerate into a conflict. (She already knew she and I would look at things differently.)

But she kept going/  prodding, poking, snipping, mocking.

Felt like someone taking a stick,  banging on my bee hive.   I was just a bee, minding my own business, doing what I do, making honey and tending baby bees…

And then, things went South.

Fast.

The bees came out of the hive.

I saw a side of me, I prefer to keep in check, and I saw a side of her I’d never seen.

It took weeks, to shake off the negativity of that morning, even though we both apologized.  It was like we opened Pandora’s box and all sorts of nasty’s came out.

Taught me a lesson.

All of us have within us a dark side.

Even the kindest, gentlest, sweetest soul you’ll ever meet.

All of us..

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The other memory I have on this issue happened when our girls were 11 and 12.   We were in the middle of the home schooling chapter in our lives.  A new brother-in-law joined the extended family, and it wasn’t long before I  got wind of him grilling, (and subtly mocking) the two older girls. He had his own baggage when it came to faith/ a domineering mother, etc) so I  chalked it up to him being triggered…and then it happened.  It was just he and I, and he pounced  (on me) spoiling for a fight.  Sixty seconds into his rant, I looked at him and said I wasn’t going to debate.  I wasn’t going to go there.  I valued my relationship with him and there was no way, he and I were going to come away from that pissing match in a better place.

Pause.

He smiled.

His countenance changed.

It was like a heavy weight had lifted.

We agreed, that was probably for the best.

That was 25 years ago. We still get along. I can still see that knowing twinkle in his eyes.  We have  an understanding.

Now if he would have been in a different frame of mind, (open) I could have told him about my journey from total opposition to the idea of home schooling, (wife’s idea/ not mine)  to coming to a place where all of my concerns (socialization,   extra curricular activities, how could we teach subjects we ourselves as parents had struggled with, etc)  had been addressed head on.

I was now excited about home schooling as a viable educational model.

None of that came out, because it couldn’t.

He didn’t have ears to hear.

Now 20 years later, I would add home schooling is not for every family, nor even every child in the same family.  But to completely write it off, well you do not know what you are talking about.

+++++++++++

Ruth Stout.

Ever hear of her?

She is my role model when it comes to dealing with differences of opinion.

Her claim to fame is how she gardened.

Amazing story.

Completely bucked the status quo, and the fruit of her gardening proved she was onto something.  Eventually, people tried to put her on a pedestal, but she wouldn’t have it.  Wouldn’t let them.

Refused to tell people what to think, but let the results speak for themselves.

That’s me.  DM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Until the bees came out…

  1. Powerful post, DM. Theoretically, I agree with your approach. However, there are a few topics – or rather, positions on topics – that are like a gut punch to me. Racism, misogyny, and cruelty for pleasure come to mind. My choices are to walk away and just never have anything to do with that person, or to explain my position and then walk away and never have anything to do with that person. If I choose the former, I am implicitly condoning despicable words. There are times when people’s attitudes towards others just breaks my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your comment reminds me of an incident from my past…a time I didn’t keep my mouth shut. I was on a tour of the Pella window factory years ago. Dozen or so contractors and clients. During the course of our walking through the plant, I could hear one of the other contractors making inappropriate sexual comments to one of the younger ladies in our group (I found out later she was with him) When I talked w/ my company rep later that day, I gave him an ear full. Named names, specific comments etc. He followed up by talking to someone in management…next morning 6 AM, my phone rings….It was the contractor I reported. He was not happy, asked me what my problem was. He got both barrels, Told him that was no way to talk in front of a young woman, What the hell was he thinking. I did not appreciate it, nor her, I’m sure. He stammered something and hung up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol. Good for you. Confrontation is tough. It’s uncomfortable and it impacts relationships. Staying quiet is easier. But there are a few issues, as I mentioned, that, if not addressed, will never change and many, many people suffer for it. Bravo, Doug.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this same topic – whether or not to engage myself in controversial topics. I’ve come to similar conclusions as you, DM.
    Sometimes I will decide to listen (underlined) to their thoughts (their vent) however strongly I may disagree, simply because it helps me understand that person better.
    It’s interesting, too, that rarely do I get asked what I think. I’m discovering that often they think they already know what I think. But they don’t. And they don’t ask. So I just listen and learn. And I pray for them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Good to hear from you Grace. I wonder sometimes if you’re still reading along. 🙂 Thought of you guys several times over the past few months, probably since before the election. Figured you were taking a hiatus from social media…Later! DM

      Like

  3. This hits home. My son has made politics the defining factor in our relationship. I don’t, never have, tried to convince him he is wrong. I respect his right to believe as he does. But he has lit into me a couple of times in the last year. It breaks my heart to be estranged from him, but his choice, all because he can’t stand our political choices.
    We are friends with both conservatives and liberals. We may disagree with some of our friends but we simply choose to love them and avoid discussions about which we disagree. That is unity .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll confess from the get-go that I am a news and information junkie. I am the open funnel through which all manner of data can pass. I am also my own filter, and, while I am kind (or at least civil) to all, I do not suffer fools.

    On any given topic, there are at least as many opinions as there are pontificators. And, as we’ve seen in the past few months, some of those opinions are without factual basis (at best) and dangerous (at worst.) I live in an area where attitudes (political/religious/beekeeping) can be wildly divergent. My solution is to be silent, or, if necessary, gentle (and, if at all possible, funny.)

    Even then, I’ve seen “meant-well” blow up in my face. My own foster-daughter hasn’t spoken to me in over a decade. I love her dearly, but have decided that it’s not up to me. She has self-selected away. What can I say? She asked for my opinion, and I delivered…gently.

    There are a very few areas where I cannot tolerate others’ opinions…racism, misogyny, and abuse. I also have difficulty with silence on these–and am one of first to paint a sign and hit the streets for some good, old-fashioned, peaceful free speech. But if these issues arise in an interpersonal situation…it is beyond difficult. If silence will not suffice, I choose absence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to hear from you AV. Yep, it’s one thing to read about something in the news, it takes it two a whole new level when current events and strong different opinions flair up between people we love. DM

      Like

  5. I think you have a very wise attitude on this. If someone wants to know what you think, then by all means tell them, factually and without trying to persuade them to agree with you. But most often, people don’t really want to know, they just want to vent and/or convince you they are right and you are wrong. In those cases, agreeing to disagree is the best solution. Because you’re right, we can all get ugly when our core values are challenged. I’ve lost my temper and said stuff I shouldn’t have, and I’ve been attacked as well. That’s why I’m very careful nowadays about who I have completely open and honest conversations. Also, I’ve learned that it is very possible to be good friends with people who vote differently and who have different ideas on religion. I hate that so many people no longer believe this is possible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is possible to do as you say…be good friends with people of vastly different ideas and opinions. I do it all the time. thanks for stopping by the blog! DM

      Like

  6. I’m all about being the bee, and not a poker with the stick. I’ve hidden and/or deleted a lot of contacts on social media as I am just not going to go there … I read the news I want to know more about, the screaming commentators are turned off at night, and I have so much more peace in my life.

    Loved this sentence, “He didn’t have ears to hear.” A-MEN.

    Well said, DM

    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A current story.
    Yesterday, in hospital, I sat with 4 other males while a piece of trash argued, raved, swore, and verbally abused the female nurses and health carers, and the ward sister.. Each time one of us opened our mouths, a finger came up to shut us up. Within hours his bed was wheeled out, him probably thinking he had won something.

    Then, as a group, the nurses and nursing sister came in and thanked us for our tolerance.
    WTH! you told us to shut up!
    With that the sister pulled out a digital memo taker.
    The message was clear, she wanted ‘he who was ranting’ to be the only person on the machine.

    Then she put a finger to her lips as to say “Shush”
    As one they said “Thanks for your support and quietly walked out.”
    With us clapping.
    It was well after that we found out that he had been wheeled into the psych ward.
    And now faces police charges of abusing females AND NHS nursing staff.

    Even Angels know how to get their own back Doug.

    Liked by 1 person

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