I normally don’t write much about politics as it is such a dumpster fire right now, but this was an experience worth sharing.
Last Friday night, my wife and I got the task of hanging political information for a friend of ours who is running for office. With Covid and social distancing, it was just hanging stuff on door knobs. No big deal, right?
Well, we approached the house of some people we knew, and sure enough, we were caught. Someone saw us from the garage and came outside to see what we were up to as it was dusk. Next thing we know, it’s dark. We’ve spent a solid 90 minutes talking with this gentleman about our candidate. The kicker, we are soildily in in the Democratic camp and he’s solidly Republican.
That’s what we thought when he first started in as well. The last thing we wanted was a confrontation about some topic. Our daughter (and to a certain extend by my wife and I) have posted some things in Facebook that people in our community find objectionable. Not that we care a whole lot. Being a Democrat in a very conservative place, you find very quickly that you either have to speak your mind or don’t speak at all. We’ve made the choice we have to speak up, period. So when the conversation started, we were a bit leery with our responses.
But as we talked about our candidate and he talked about the things he’d been doing for his, he made this comment:
As I’ve watched things go down hill, I figured this is the time to get involved. We are in a moment where we simply cannot stand back and let others do the work. We need to be doing the work too.
This is when I knew we may be in store for something a little bit different. I was right. The conversation never turned ugly. We challenged him and some of his views, he challenged us on ours, and when we finally walked away, it was with a sense of “we needed this” more so than anything else. I’ve had both of their kids in class and we are friendly at events, but I cannot ever remember talking like this. It was just good to hear an opposing view without yelling or name calling or some snide comment. We were adults, talking about abortion, gun control, Black Lives Matter, racism, and “The Swamp”, and we did it with zero meltdowns.
Now, neither of us changed the other’s mind, that much was true, but it just felt good to talk to someone. That’s what Covid has really taken away from us, that ability to sit down (or stand in the driveway) and talk. Being an introvert, I didn’t realize how much I missed listening and enjoying conversation.