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2010-02-08 10:17 p.m.

We hold certain truths to be self-evident: BALLS

I showed this photo to a friend and she said that I was a gun-loving American and that I needed to go see a Michael Moore movie.

This is what I wrote to her.

Don't worry, I've read all his books and seen all his movies. And agreed with him.

I've had an interesting experience here in the USA. My mom was super liberal. My dad used to be. He was a pot smoking hippie musician at some point in our past. Somewhere along the way he changed to being a occasionally-dictatorial republican Christian that loves Rush Limbaugh.

Relating to him and having a relationship with him has been based on focusing on similarites, rather than differences. And, the weight of this responsibility has been upon me.

So, similarities. That means that though my life if I wanted to be in a relationship with him I had to be willing to listen and understand what was important to him without judgment.

I listened to Rush Limbaugh with him on the radio because it made him happy. I went to church with him. I even read every right-wing book he ever suggested I read.

It's all been quite interesting. I'm glad I listened and read those things.

I don't necessarily agree with them. In fact, I find myself quite diametrically opposed to all those right wing values. But, being there and experiencing those things allows me to do what is important to me: build bridges, make peace, empathize, and have compassion for those that think differently.

I've tried drugs (legal and illegal), drinking, therapy, hypnosis, self-help books, exercise, travel, meditation, yoga, music, art. It's all been very interesting.  

Three years ago I had a major falling out with one of my best guy friends. My life had fallen apart and I was at the very bottom of a messy drug addiction that was annihilating my life and anyone around me. He felt like I was hurting HIM on purpose through my self-directed bad decisions. It took years to mend this with him and regain his trust. And, I had this idea that in order to do it I would need to come over to his side of the fence. It would mean taking an interest in something that was important to him.

So, I agreed to go shooting with him. I had always been soooooo judgmental about his gun hobby and I know he felt insecure that he couldn't even talk about this thing which was culturally significant to him with any of our friends. (We're all pretty much anti-gun.)

Sharing his interest with him gave us something to talk about that was special between us. It was weird, yes. It made me feel uncomfortable. It still always does, every time I go shooting. This is some obvious sign of my personal belief system—which is that a society doesn't actually need guns circulating within the general population.

There is a part of me that feels I am fighting a war, and that the outcome is a Better World. So far the only way I've found to succeed at this endeavor has been to accept other people and experience their way of life. How else can I expect them to accept mine? Only then we can build bridges.

It's just funny to me that it turned out that the specific subject of the bridge building happened to be something I felt so strongly against. It makes me laugh at the irony of life.