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Giving a hoot

I wrote a while back my feelings about why I seem to not be able to let things go.  I've been thinking about that a bit over the last couple months since then.  I just came across this picture on Facebook, and it stuck out to me.  Why do I let myself get so upset about things?  The reason why it struck a cord with me is that I just barely had a heated argument last night about politics and gay marriage.  (When I first came out, I was continually arguing with people, so that wouldn't have been significant, but over the last few months, the arguments have died down significantly.)

I didn't "finish" the argument last night.  Something happened.  I was angry, but that had happened before.  I think what I realized was that I had had the exact same conversation so many times before, and it had never come of anything good, that I decided it wasn't worth it.  I blocked the two guys who were arguing with me.  (One of them wasn't even a Facebook friend, just a friend of a friend, so blocking him wasn't hard.)  But, since I blocked both of them, I've been thinking about why I did so.  If I am comfortable with my position (that gay people should be treated equally), then I shouldn't be upset when other people disagree.  I should allow them to say their own feelings.  I don't need to respond to them,  I don't need to give their words any credibility by replying to them.  I can just let them say what they want to say and let those words hang.

Or, can I?  Do I have that strength?  I've not yet been able to do that.  I want to.  I think that's probably the best thing to do.  People are going to be ignorant and bigoted no matter what, so why not let them just show how ignorant and bigoted they are and simply not get upset about it?  Why do I let it get to me?  I shouldn't.  It shouldn't bother me at all.  I know that I'm not doing anything wrong by living with Conrad.  I know that our love for each other is real.  I don't need to prove it to anyone else.  I don't need to prove that we want to get married because we love each other, and not because we just want a tax break.  Why do I feel the compulsion to respond to such comments?

I think I made significant progress last night when I just stopped arguing.  Yes, I blocked them, so the argument couldn't possibly continue--that's kind of the same as insisting on having the last word.  But, for me, I think that's progress in the right direction.  I'm not as upset about this particular argument as I have been in the past.  I actually think that the day will come when I'll be able to just ignore people who make disgusting, bigoted comments.  I'm sure that if I were in a very good mood, I could do it even now, but I want to get to the point where even when I'm not in a good mood I'll have the willpower to just leave it alone.  By responding to such stupidity, I only elevate its status from "ignorant comment" to "rational statement" by implying that it can be reasoned with.

In fact, I know I'm making progress in that direction because there actually was a period of time when it bothered me when people would say things like "We're praying for you." but it doesn't anymore.  I'm grateful for people wanting what's best for me, even if the way they express that is to pray for me.  So, I'm sure I'll eventually get to the point where it won't bother me when people say "No couple should be allowed to adopt unless they can physically have children." (Is it just me or does that logic seem completely backward?)

Anyway, this is me making a report about my progress toward (as the Mormons call it) "not giving a hoot".

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