As I was talking politics tonight, someone said to me, “Well, your friend Rand Paul…” and continued with their theory of why Rand is no good. I stopped them and said that he’s no a friend of mine. I’ve never even met the man.
I am not here to defend Rand Paul. He has a lot more to prove to me before I stand behind him or anyone else for that matter. I have not put my support behind anyone for the 2016 election so I don’t really understand why suddenly Rand Paul becomes “my friend” simply because he’s running for president.
Yes, I worked on his father’s campaign in 2012. Yes, I find him interesting. Yes, he is the closest to being a Libertarian out of those who appear to be running for the next president from the two major parties but he is by no means a Libertarian, which happens to be the party I most closely identify with, so… how exactly is this man my friend?
Oh, wait. That’s right. Others like to place me in a category, for a reason which I have yet to fully understand but my goodness, do they try.
Is it because I am part of what I like to call the “political super-minority”? I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I identify closest to Libertarian yes, but in truth, I adhere to no parties’ principles except for my own and I take full responsibility for such behavior. I get that I am not the norm and I don’t often have agreeing opinions with others, especially in terms of politics, but what’s so wrong with disagreeing? Why do others around me consistently try to place me within the confines of some person or party? Often times, if I state my opinion, suddenly I’m a lover of Obama or I want McCain in the oval office. Does it make them feel better? Does it help them in some way to categorize me?
My parents raised me to not care about what others think. I thank them for that. It’s made me okay with others disagreeing with me. It’s made me understand why I do what I do. It’s made me learn that it’s up to each one of us to figure out what is right and wrong and act accordingly, not confine ourselves to some label or group thinking. And now, it’s helping me understand why others try to place me in a group. Allow me to give an example…
I was raised a Catholic. I was taught by nuns in elementary school. I went to church. I took the Eucharist. I’m Sicilian and this religion is important to my ancestors, near and past. Very important.
So I was placed in this religion but as I grew up, I started questioning why I was doing what I was doing. When it came time for Confirmation, I really started to question things. What does this mean to me? Do I want to be here? Do I feel as they want me too? Is this something I’m drawn to on an honest level?
My mother and I were brought before the woman in charge of the Confirmation classes I was taking. I believe it was because of my “behavior”. It was at this meeting that my rebellion against organized religion was sparked and it became the start of others getting upset when I didn’t feel the same way they did. I became wrong for not believing in the God others around me did. I wasn’t acting as part of their group, so therefore I had a behavior problem.
What’s so wrong with thinking differently? Who is the arbiter of right and wrong? And if someone does think differently than you, do they have to be boxed into a category? Is it so they can be attacked?
I’ve been watching the Star Wars original series and can’t help but heed the message that we can live among all types of different people because deep down, it’s the force of goodness inside us that will prevail.