Both of my kids are involved in extra-cirrular activities at school. My sixth grader plays percussion for the band and is involved in something called Science Olympiad–or as I jokingly refer to it, The Nerd Olympics.
My 9th grader is in band and football. Between private lessons, practice and school work, his schedule was already full. Which is why when he insisted on being involved in Debate, the Debate teacher was understandably concerned about whether he would be fully committed to the research and preparation required to compete in tournaments. She need not have been. After a phone conversation with her about my son’s interest in politics–he was voted “Most Likely to become a Politician” by his 8th grade class–her concerns were abated and she was excited about having him join the team. That he enjoys being on the debate team doesn’t surprise me. What has surprised me is that he is the only kid on that team who considers himself a conservative. There are two who claim the moniker of libertarian. The rest consider themselves liberal. We live in Texas, y’all. States don’t get much redder than this one.
When the school year began, he would tell me stories of spirited discussions he engaged in with his liberal classmates. As the school year has progressed however, he has begun to take liberal stances on political issues. Not, he assures me, because he actually buys into them, but because part of being a successful debater is being able to argue both sides of an issue. But still–This is a kid who often proudly wears a tee shirt emblazoned with the face of Ronald Reagan and the words “Do you miss me now?” on it. Then there’s comments like, “Do you really think Fox News is fair and balanced?” I shared with him my belief that there’s really no such thing as fair and balanced news coverage anymore. Everyone filters information through what they want to believe is the truth.
The world is much more polarized these days, but I think us humans have always had a knack for creating our own soundtracks in life.
Upon hearing the phrase “sensible gun laws”, depending upon your political leanings you might hear “the government is going to make the streets safer for everyone” or “the government is trying to take guns away from everyone but the criminals”.
Even in personal relationships, a person might say “It’s not you, it’s me”. Nine times out of ten, what the other person hears is “It’s totally you.” (And nine times out of ten, they’re correct.)
We choose to believe versions of truth based upon our life experiences and the deep-seated desires of our heart. One only has to look as far as the Manti Te’o story for proof of that. That’s obviously an extreme case, but let’s be honest. If we could create our own soundtrack as our lives played out before us, who wouldn’t edit out “The spot we found is cancerous” and replace it with “It must have been a smudge on the x-ray because you’re perfectly healthy”, or edit out “We need to talk” and replace it with “You’re all I’ve ever wanted”?
Face it. If you could mute the sound and put in your own words, you’d most likely do it.
You might even do something like this:
Did she just write a 500+ word post just to share a YouTube video?!?
Yesh she did. Snort!
Happy Superbowl Sunday, y’all!