The older I get, the more gray area there seems to be. Hardly anything looks straight black or white to me anymore. While I intend to keep political, religious or otherwise controversial posts to a minimum, this is a blog about life as I see it, so there is probably no topic I’ll completely avoid.
I used to be very set in my ways, knowing exactly where I stood on any issue. As a young adult, I was very conservative, knew exactly what my parenting choices would be and had a clear stance on right and wrong based on what I had learned growing up in a conservative protestant church. Actually, I’m not even sure “right and wrong” is correct. More like a view on how everything should be. And I was all to happy to debate anyone about anything.
Then I learned that just because maybe everything should be a certain way, doesn’t mean that it is, which slowly started altering my conservative brain. I also became a parent and realized that it’s impossible to know what choices you’ll make as a parent until you actually become one.
Now I find myself in the middle of a lot of issues. I’ve chosen a side, but am still open and interested in what both sides have to say because I realize there’s a lot of gray. I find I’m especially interested in the issues where I’ve converted, so to speak, from one side to the next. There’s always new information coming out and I’m always interested in hearing it, assuming it’s fact-based.
On the one hand, this has left me less judgemental and more open-minded. On the other hand, it’s left me fretting over some choices, especially parenting ones.
With non-parenting issues, I don’t worry as much about them, but for the most part have decided that whichever one will benefit the most people is the way to go (for example, gay marriage–what promotes love the most? Global warming–reducing pollution is ultimately a good thing for everyone).
For parenting issues, it’s different because based on mine and Doug’s choices, I could be damaging our children for the rest of their lives. Even so, I mostly pick and choose what works for us without sticking to a clear label of “attachment parent,” “free range parent” or otherwise because there is so much information on all sides of these issues.
I babywear and breastfeed (now extended), but we let our babies cry it out at a certain point. I choose organic foods and avoid chemicals as much as possible, but we vaccinate. I don’t let myself get roped in to any one category and we make our best choices based on a combination of information and parent-intuition.
I used to think that not having a clear stance on things made one wishy-washy, but I realize now that there are just too many facts and studies on both sides of the aisle with any issue. If you read information on one side, you’ll be convinced of that, but then you read information on the other side and you realize that there’s a bigger picture.
How do you deal with conflicting thoughts on issues? Do you feel the need to choose a side?
This post is not intended to start a debate about any of these issues, as that’s not what it’s about. I’d love to hear from you, no matter where you stand on anything.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Dang Toasted Coconut Chips!