Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't cut me off... I might surprise you with an answer someday.

When a friend asks me a question, I do my best to answer honestly. If I don't know an answer, I'll try to get back to them quickly. Sometimes I have to think, and sometimes my answers are long, but I give answers. I'm not afraid of any question from any person.

But when my friends ask a question and don't wait for an answer--or worse yet, they disagree with me before I've finished giving my full answer--I get a bit flustered. Rightly so, I imagine. I'm slow to anger, too slow sometimes to stand up for myself. I really, really don't like it when people cut me off.

Today at lunch, my friends and I were having a discussion about gender roles. As I understand it, they take a Biblical stance and support traditional male dominance. I got as far as stating how I was raised (not traditionally) when they assumed that I believe the same things my parents do. They cut me off, preventing a full answer, preventing what could have been a surprising revelation.

My argument is not about the subject matter. I don't care if my friends agree or disagree with me or my parents or anyone as long as they respect people enough to listen to the answers to their own questions.

I'm not mad. I am, though, not as likely to share myself next time. I'm afraid I'll be cut off and judged unfairly on incomplete information (yet again). I'll still ask questions... and it is my overwhelming hope that I'll care enough to listen to a full answer.

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