My body hath betrayed, but my mind is staging a coup as I engage and explore alternative points of view

I believe that enlightenment is best achieved by engaging and exploring alternative points of view, that opinions and convictions should be formulated empirically, and that perspectives should be tendered without apology. They are merely what we believe to be true at a given point in time, nothing for anyone to get their panties in a knot over. Hell, who knows, we might feel differently about it next week. That’s how it works when we continue to grow.

Sometime in 2016, as Trump’s political shenanigans were transpiring in Washington D.C., long-dormant emotions and sensibilities awakened in me. I felt compelled to engage, and even though I was an adult, I was reluctant to voice my opinion because I was afraid that, if pressed, I couldn’t back it up and I didn’t want to assert my ignorance. ;-)

First I needed to figure out where my give-a-shit factor was on stuff. I found I have a broad and abiding regard for embracing diversity and inclusion, the import of the phrase “you do you”, a practical(pun intended) appreciation for the premise “I’m Ok, You’re Ok” and the precepts “Do No Harm” and “Leave No Trace”. Then I had a starting point for my opinions and ultimately, convictions.

I found that writing about stuff forced me to scrutinize it and I gained a better understanding of it. With rumination complete and innate filtering mechanisms like ethics, morality, and legality considered, I had informed opinions and some actual convictions. I felt ready to be part of the greater discussion.

I don’t categorize myself as a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative but merely a thoughtful and sympathetic patriotic capitalist who believes that health is fundamental to both life and the pursuit of happiness, that liberty should be color-blind, and that big business will never think beyond next quarters earnings report to put our countries best interest ahead of their bottom line. Protecting our environment or even their consumers is paradoxically secondary. Oops, I think that makes me a liberal*.

I’m a 60s-era poet with abiding regard for embracing diversity and inclusion, the import of the phrase “you do you”, the precepts “Do No Harm” and “Leave No Trace” and a practical appreciation for the premise “I’m Ok, You’re Ok”.

My poems are profoundly personal expressions as are all forms of art and ask only to be perceived, without bias or critique.

I have no illusions about my significance or the impact of my work. It is cathartic. Nor do I apologize for its primitive tenor or fret over how others might judge it, or me for it. To do otherwise would inhibit free expression, and a reticent self-conscious poet is doomed to an uncreative and unproductive melancholy.

Naively, I hope my poetry fosters awareness in the uninitiated and clarity of conscience in the culpable.

. . .

Independent thinking is the process of making sense of the world based on your observations and experiences rather than depending on the words of others. It is the ability to trust your judgments, even if they are not in agreement with what others might say or believe.

Free thinking: A Freethinker is a person who forms opinions independently of tradition, authority, or established Belief. No one can be a freethinker who naively conforms to another’s creed.

. . .

* liberal | ˈlib(ə)rəl | adjective 1. willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas. • (in a political context) favoring policies that are socially progressive and promote social welfare. 2. relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise: a liberal democratic state.

These are good things, right?

. . .

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Engage & explore alternative points of view... Form opinions and convictions empirically... Tender perspectives without apology...