Finding balance in a chaotic world

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I Love the Smell of Cordite in the Morning

I’m taking half a day off from work to go shooting with a friend of mine. We’ll be doing trap shooting (like skeet only no walking around), target shooting, and testing out our rifles. It’s a good bunch of male bonding and surprisingly relaxing. I know in today’s world even talking about shooting can suddenly label you as a potential “going postal” person and that just annoys me to no end. Target shooting is a very challenging and enjoyable sport. But guns are a politically charged subject and thus cause immediate reactions from people. Le sigh.

 

Of course I have very solid beliefs in gun rights and there is not an argument in the world that I feel justifies new gun control laws. I also know that there are people on the opposite side of the spectrum who feel the same way about their position. So the two of us should get together and reach a balance in our beliefs, correct?

 

This is one area in my life that I feel there is no need for balance. It’s not because I don’t want to see the other guy’s side or that I’m threatened by other’s beliefs. Instead it is because my belief in a second amendment is based on my belief that people are responsible for their own actions, among other things. If I compromised my beliefs then ultimately, what do I believe in? The person who changes what they believe in to fit the current mood is no better than the person who irrationally clings to their beliefs.

 

For me the balance in my beliefs is reinforcing that there is a rational thought process behind why I believe them. If there is no rational reasoning behind a belief system, then I simply refuse to discuss the belief. My classic example is during the recent presidential campaign. I’m very conservative and I decided that the Republican Party best represented my beliefs. Now I have some friends who felt that the Democratic Party best represented their beliefs, which I’m fine with. We could have calm discussions about politics and our point of view. I also have a friend or two who voted Democrat because he “hates Bush.” Ok, but why does he hate Bush? Well… he shrugs and mumbles something but it isn’t anything very coherent. Here is someone who I can’t discuss things with because he doesn’t have a rational reasoning, it is all emotional. He knows he doesn’t like the current president, but he doesn’t quite know why.

 

So, don’t compromise your beliefs because you feel pressured one way or the other. Understand why you believe the way you do and be sure there is a rational thought pattern there. Once you know why you believe what you believe, you won’t have to worry about balance in your core beliefs and the world can certainly use more people who know why. Unfortunately, they rarely run for office.