I have found a great challenge to listen to classical music. I did not grow in a home which appreciated it. No piano lessons. No WFMT on the radio.
Sometime in high school I decided to be better rounded. A fan of classic folk rock at my core - Bob Dylan, Larry Norman, the Byrds, classical, I found, was another language. That's kind of how I feel about hip-hop music now.
Why listen to a voice contrary to my own? In this exact case, to enrich my sense of culture. I'd turn on the radio to classical station, buy music, and even attend concerts. I am a long way from being an expert, but I can say I like many aspects of the music.
As this began process to filter into other parts of my life, I learned to broaden my understanding of the world. I became a free speech advocate. Freely learn, and freely speak.
This is probably why I do not see life as political. It isn't. Truth is truth, and in whatever party it may reside, I want truth. I don't want truth wrapped in lies -- hence my recent frustration with the political verbiage that suggest more guns/war equal more peace, or that prochoice equals fewer abortions. While there can be such results, it is wrapped in aquiesence. I don't care who is in charge, so long as they know the truth, and live the truth. That's why I was glad to write this article for yesterday's Chicago Tribune. It is apolitical in its focus, despite the story being about a politician.
Fairness in freedom will frustrate a great many people. Acknowledge a firm belief, and some will leave you. Acknowledge the merit of the other, and say good-bye to everyone else.
In college, I organized a debate about abortion that was well-attended and civil. Why? I invited both sides to bring their best debator, and asked real, not leading, questions.
My friends who happen to be prolife cringed when I noted I was open to supporting a Democrat in the recent election. Yes, I even considered Barack Obama.
I was not voting for party, image, history, gender, race, religion. I was voting for what I believed in. I avoided talk radio, hyperbiased websites and media, and stayed clear of the bitter dialogical spite flung around. Dialectical discussion was hard to find.
Likewise, and sadly, with vitriol, my more liberally minded friends, claimed angst when I mentioned I would be voting for John McCain, who happens to also be a Democrat.
Statistics were bantered about, e-mails demonizing either were sent to me, and, in general, I sat alone. Dare say intrigue of a person's opponent, and mistrust began. They'll know we are Christians by our...(?)
Friends, I saw, in the best cases, were not ones in which agreement was found, but pursuit of truth, and declared it in love, and in humility.
Now, granted, the election was bigger than just the abortion issue, but it is easy to wrap a blog post around that.
A bigger picture issue, of course, is in what now? Elections are over, yet campaigning remains. Me? No campaigning because we have a president, and know who our next president is. Pray is due both, and I hope both grow in wisdom and knowledge of truth.
In the meanwhile, try a little classical music (samples of great pieces)
And try a little classic rock (Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti")