I live in the South, always have and (God willing) always will.
Here in the South, we tend to stay close to our family and hold tight to our values. However, the attitude and practice of excluding people because they don't happen to hold the same beliefs and or values has always bothered me.
In the past few months, I have noticed that I have been put into situations where I have been forced to spend large amounts of time with others who would fall into the category as holding a different view on life that I do.
To say that this is easy is such a backwards thought, it happens to be one of the more difficult things that I've had to deal with. It's hard to sit and hear someone bash what you believe and not get emotional.
I have, instead, tried to learn from these men and women that have been put in my path. Instead of ignoring them and blowing them off, I am trying to see where they may be coming from, what led them there and why they believe what they believe.
It's hard and many times I don't want to do it, but I think that this is supposed to be a learning experience for me.
Will I still be a Conservative, pro-life, vaccinating, circumcising, God fearing, church going, family loving Southern woman? Most certainly, but maybe I'll also be a more inclusive, loving, patient, kind, hard working, persistent, consistent, passionate person as well. And really, the world could use more of those.