When You're Misunderstood

I think it's interesting how people try to make you agree or disagree with them. I hope nobody thinks they have to agree with how I think, and in matters of how one spends their money, I certainly cannot tell you how or where, which I'm pretty sure I haven't. In fact where you shop doesn't have any relation to how righteous anyone is, and quite frankly I never said that, and if someone were reading between the lines then that's their own intent/motivation coming through. It is wonderful to be able to ask someone else to expound upon something they have expressed or feel so that you can perhaps understand why they feel that way, it's not so great to throw out your misinterpretations of what they said. What I think has bugged me the most is that I take quite seriously the line "The ignorant lack the ability for self-reflection and analysis" which was pointedly used in response to what was most definitely my own opinion based on what I know to be true for myself. I think in this matter, we can all do a great deal of discussing, but when someone makes a judgement that someone is ignorant, self-righteous or judgemental because they believe differently, no matter of debate or discussion is worth the effort. So according to dictionary.com
1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.
4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

According to my faith and what I've been taught there are expectations laid out quite clearly for me from my Heavenly Father through ancient and modern revelation. His voice and teachings are a constant in my life, so I care a great deal about what he thinks, and I am sure he cares a great deal about how I accomplish these tasks. His teachings are the barometer for how I judge myself and this is what I need to cover before I go spend a bunch of money on something that I know looks pretty or would be on my "nice to have" list.
1. Tithing
2. Fast Offering
3. Basic needs for my family- shelter, food, clothing
4. Get rid of debt
5. Food storage
6. Emergency fund/Savings
7. Future expenses (college & retirement funds, etc...)
8. Donations/Acts of Service, etc...
When these things are taken care of, or well on their way to being established, and if I have something left over I might choose to make a habit out of spending my money at certain establishments, or I still may not. I do have a very hard time with buying into anyone telling me a cake plate is worth $50, etc... I spend a great amount of time in self-reflection and receiving instruction regarding these matters. What has been discussed this week opens more and more doors for that cycle of self-reflection and personal revelation to continue. I hope it sparks a lot of discussion because I think it's an important one to have with spouses, family, friends, whomever. Through my own experience I know what works for me and my family. I know that we might never have a lot of material things. But it's okay, because in my mind I'm living up to the things I'm supposed to live up to first and foremost. That doesn't mean I have nothing nice, likewise if I come into your house I don't sit there wondering how much you spent on everything nice that I see. I don't post links to things that my husband has bought me or things I have bought myself, unless it's a fantastic deal because I am very aware that there are people who may feel a certain way because I posted it. I won't dedicate my blog to posting about "things" because they aren't important. I won't promote stores on my blog that claim to offer "a one of a kind and compelling shopping experience that makes women feel beautiful, hopeful and connected." because knowing my own experiences I know full well that no shopping experience can make me feel those things. I'm looking forward to the weekend and spending some time with some of my girlfriends because that makes me feel connected. I'm looking forward to going to the temple because that makes me feel hopeful and connected. I feel better about myself and more beautiful when I am doing all I can to live up to the expectations laid out for me, and I don't feel much shame in encouraging people I care about to do the same. Self-righteous? To some. Ignorant? Never have I ever been described that way in the almost 27yrs of my life, not one time by anyone who knows me- at least not to my face.
I don't have a great need in my life for people to agree with me, and I don't want people to feel like because I don't agree with them, we can't have the discussion. What I want is for people to really try to understand where I come from, because then it's a lot harder to pass words like "judgemental" and "ignorant" around the table. Likewise I would love to understand where they come from and how their opinions were formed on the issue. I love this aspect of the mortal experience, it's fascinating to me how we are all so alike and so different, but all our opinions can be shared and heard, we are so blessed to have this freedom.


doyles said...

Agreed and agreed!! I totally get what your saying and I am so in agreeance with everything as well. I have come to many of those realizations as well, and it can be distressing at times but mostly a feeling of peace comes in knowing you are doing what is right for you and I have come to realize that regarding money and material items, happiness is a CHOICE and making the most out of what we do have is ESSENTIAL. (Material and relationships etc.) I get ya!

Sarah B said...

I love a good debate. For me the benefit is twofold, it helps me look deep within myself and really question what it is that I think and why. Which you have said is the same for you. The second point is that it evokes a bit of insight into other people's points of view, and to see where they are coming from, even if it is different to your own.

In this instance it became such an emotionally fueled issue and the topic was lost in the judgment and name calling that you wrote about. That is the sad part to me. I can appreciate that it hurt your feelings, but to be honest, I didn't have a problem with your opinion, I just thought I should mention how you come off to other people. It sort of rubbed me the wrong way I guess. I grew up in a single income household and will never see the value in a $25 drawer knob, so I agree with you on that. However, I also think that my own thoughts about value and overindulgence, are a product of my own experiences, and that if someone has worked hard for their money, and has put their priorities in order, than they have worked for the ability to have some overindulgence as well and I am happy for them. Maybe cake plates will never be your thing, but maybe your indulgence will be something that other people cannot understand.

Anyway, I hope I haven't hurt your feelings either. I have had many a conversations with my little sister in the past about how I come off when making points I am really passionate about, and it has made me more understanding of how I discuss things. It has helped me a lot so that is just the reason I thought I'd pass it along.

Steve and Alli said...

No worries at all Sarah :)