February 28, 2009

Where Did I Come From?

My dad and I always joke about the fact that I'm a bleeding heart Liberal while my father is a fairly moderate Conservative. We disagree on things like reproductive rights, taxes and military action but we're able to laugh about it- which is nice. Our discussions can be interesting and refreshing. Then there are conversations with my mother. I don't talk politics with my mother for a few reasons; I don't think her opinions are really hers, she gets her information from one source and she doesn't know how to relate to me on a fundamental level without differing opinions figuring into the mix.

These facts led Mike and me to a morning discussion about what circumstances make people who they are and believe what they believe. I suppose it's an extension of the nature versus nurture debate. Your parents can only influence so much before your own opinions and beliefs are made and you become your own person. Mike deduced that since I moved around so much as a kid I was exposed to so many more belief systems than the one I grew up with. If I didn't move away from Northern Michigan, for example, I would assume everyone in the world was Christian and white as snow or a Muppet. That's probably why California was such a culture shock for me. (I am sooooo glad the move wasn't the other way around- I would have turned into a coked out slut simply from boredom!) I was surrounded by more people who weren't like me than people who were like me. When we moved to Virginia, ironically, I was exposed to an even greater diversity than California. More religions, ethnicities, political systems- it was great!

Mike was helping me piece together where I sort of "formed" and he figures Virginia when I was a teenager. But I think it started before then. I remember learning what Democrats and Republicans were in eighth grade in CA and when I asked my father to which party he belonged he said Republican And I remember being HORRIFIED. I now know that my teacher must've taught with a liberal slant but nevertheless still HORRIFIED. Then I got into theatre while at the same time subscribed to an all-inclusive Catholicism where you love your neighbor no matter what they look like or find attractive. I dropped the Catholicism and kept the theatre and loving your neighbor stuff, mixed it with a little needing government help and voila! You have yourself a liberal idealist named Katherine.

1 comment:

dad said...

Let's see;
-bleeding heart liberal, CHECK
-near-miss coked-out slut, CHECK
-godless former catholic, CHECK
-HORRIFIED democrat...
CHECK!
Good to see my long-term parenting plan worked... excellent!