Most folks do not really grasp why I no longer follow the politics of the day. After all, in studying History, would I not be interested in what takes place within the halls of government? Certainly, that is a truthful statement. However, I have zero desire to pay attention to the small, tiny details. Nor do I care one whit about which side is “correct” in the political arguments that take place within the various cracks and corners of Congress. Thus I have a very minor interest in the results of what takes place (or essentially what does NOT take place) on Capitol Hill here in the United States. My interest in History takes me elsewhere.
I have heard plenty of commentary over my position. I am not a good citizen because I do not pay attention to the politics of the day. I am an uninformed voter when I bother to register my opinion at the polling locations. And yes, I consider my vote to be an opinion, which tends to raise the hackles of plenty of people. The only problem with all the commentaries is that these folks are basing their perception of my knowledge on their own interest and involvement. Since I do not move, study, read, or discuss the issues in the same manner that they do – I cannot be as perceptive as they are on the issues of the day. However, unless they were in my back-pocket throughout a day – they have no idea what my level of knowledge was on a given issue. Therefore, their “logical” presumptive state has a high probability of being incorrect – enough of a percentage that I certainly would not bet my meager salary as an adjunct professor on it being correct.
We make these kind of presumptions all the time – even myself, the individual writing about this phenomenon (and am likely making similar presumptive guesses within my own writing here). When others presume to “know” something about us, those presumptions tend to rub us the wrong way. People get offended when grand guesses are made about a part of their lives. How the fuck does someone who does not live in my back pocket know jack-shit about who I am, what I believe, the choices I make, or anything else?
Why the offended nature? Because we live our own individual lives according to our own interpretative truths. Not interpreted by someone else, but by ourselves. No one likes to be told they are wrong or incorrect – particularly when its something that is near and dear to their heart or at the center of who they have defined themselves to be. I do my very best not to make presumptions or guesses about how another person believes or lives their life…and while I manage to do so most of the time – I certainly do fail at others. And am ashamed of myself when I realize it. yet there it is…I did it.
A while back, I wrote about people who wear their desire to be offended on their sleeves – just waiting for someone else to bump into it and start the argument. There are also others who try their very best to not offend people, try not to make rash generalizations, and attempt to live their lives by a narrow, moral code. And when they fail, they find themselves to be unworthy of the world around them. I know there are people who think along those lines – I do, and (using a generalization here) I know I am not only in that type of thinking.
For me – I cannot speak for anyone else and presume not to do so at any time – Life is about trying to achieve a balance (what a shocking thought for a Libra). I can try the best that I can to not offend others with what I say, and do the best to not be offended by what others say about me. I know I won’t succeed every single time in either of those areas – but its not about succeeding…its about trying.