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How to Deal With Alternative Opinions

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First things first. Here’s a quick shout out to Peejers (aka Patty Wysong) for “lighting a fire under the rear end” of many bloggers out there. Her meme A 2 Z 4 U & Me officially began this week, with the aim of posting one blog per week until we’ve covered all the letters of the alphabet. Thanks for the alpha-inspiration, Peej!

And away we go with the letter A

My mind works in mysterious ways. So after disregarding blogs that discussed Astilbes (a flower I recently re-discovered in my garden), alliteration (one of my fav wordy bits) and ankles (don’t ask), my brain waves have settled on “a” topic. (And the ending of that sentence officially proves that grammar humour is indeed unfunny.)

Alternative opinions are all around us. (Bang! There’s some alliteration thrown in at the gates for you.) And since we cannot avoid them, how does one deal with these alternative viewpoints with grace, intelligence and politeness?

Oh, I know all about how to deal with them in unhealthy ways (cackling, growling, lifted eyebrows, patronizing glare, walking away… and that’s just how I deal with my husband when his opinions differ from mine.) What I would like to know is how I can deal with them in a spiritual way.

What would the Lord have me do with Alternative Opinions?

For the storytellers and visual folk out there, here’s a scenario.

I recently had a discussion with a friend that grew somewhat heated. We had a difference of opinion that I felt rather strongly about and it ended in what can only be termed a stalemate. While I won’t get into what we discussed (just in case you, gentle reader, do not agree with me), I will say that it had to do with what my normally wise, level-headed friend labeled “ethics.”

She considered a certain situation unethical, whereas I felt that it was somewhat subjective. Since it also happens to be a situation I find myself in nearly every day, calling it unethical seemed… wrong. Have I been fooling myself for the last 15 years? Am I actually participating in something that is dishonourable? Potentially corrupt? Even disreputable? She seemed to think so.

You can imagine that my back was up in a very big way.

After a few hours I was able to think more clearly about my friend’s viewpoint. And while I still disagree with her sweeping statement, I see where she’s coming from and can appreciate her opinion. I can also appreciate the fact that I likely did NOT handle that conversation correctly at the time.

How do you deal with alternative opinions? Any tips? How do I properly equip my children to handle these situations as they head off into higher levels of public education and face umpteem alternatives?

Are there situations where alternative opinions can actually help?

Boy, I may end up with more questions that I bargained for with this meme. But hopefully as we move through the alphabet my hormonal and scattered brain will also settle on other, less inquiry-raising topics.

One last question – when we get to “C” how will I ever choose between coffee and chocolate???

Hoping We Can All Just Agree,

thanks to sxc/bigevil600 for the arm wrestling pic and sxc/quil for the Opinion column image


Building Muscle With Jewels

>> Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm posting at Jewels of Encouragement today, an online group dedicated to encouraging and strengthening each other on our walk of faith.

Today I'm actually gabbing about that term - faith. What is it? How do we build it? Why is it important?

Grab a hot cup of coffee and come check out the post (and read through the other fabulous entries from the JoE crew). Feel free to leave a comment.

On a Chilly Sunday Afternoon,


When Life Imitates Art Freelance Writer Style

>> Tuesday, May 10, 2011

OK. It may be going a tad far to call the work I do art. Artful. Slightly artsy. Hopefully articulate. But art?

Moving on.

An interesting occurrence in the Dart household is currently having two opposing effects on our wallet. In short, we need a new roof on our bungalow. It's only 14 years old, which is way too early for asphalt shingles to deteriorate to the scale that they have. But I'm sure I'll get over that... eventually.

How can this type of renovation project have anything but a negative effect on one's wallet? Glad you asked.

My husband is not a man to let grass grow under his feet. (And I mean that literally - the man is fanatical about grass cutting. Our summer schedule often revolves around whether he has had time to mow the lawn.) So when he saw pieces of shingle in the yard and spied bits of asphalt in the eaves it was all "Let's call a roofer, dear. Like yesterday."

And being the obedient wife I am (ahem, get that eyebrow back down), I did.

The Other Side of the Coin

The quotes are now rolling in and the cash in our savings account is rolling out. But another interesting phenomenon has arisen. I'm a freelance writer with a major focus on home improvement. And this project is giving me fodder for existing and potential clients alike. Here I am up to my eyeballs in quotes, building materials and the countless decisions that accompany a home improvement project of this size.

Perfect fuel for writing.

If it weren't so stinkin' expensive I would be loving every minute of this project. We are discussing whether to opt for a metal roof or just stick with good ole asphalt shingles. The pros and cons are being tossed across the dinner table and over our evening tea. (When coffee or chocolate is being consumed I am otherwise distracted.) And I'm hoping that I can transform those conversations, questions and yep, even debates into solid information for my clients. Can you catch a glimpse of the silver lining?

No decisions have been made and I still have plenty of research to do. But I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about things I can use in my own business (look out web, plenty of roofing articles to come from this laptop!) while being a part of the decisions regarding our home.

It may not be art, but it's what I love doing.


nice photo of the Met (where you will find some REAL art) courtesy of flickr/wallyg


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