Dear Children,

It’s ok to be a polite dissenter. In fact, please, PLEASE, be a polite dissenter. I never realized that until this year of my life, actually.

I always assumed that if I deeply respected or loved someone I should obviously align myself to their views, tastes, politics, world-view, favorite Spice Girl, etc. Turns out, you can still be a friend to someone and a decent human being and still be a free-thinker.

I urge you to search your feelings, straight-up Darth Vader style, and ask yourself why some things might not be sitting right with you. Sometimes, sure, it could be pride; resisting something that is “right” or “true” simply because you’ve chosen it or it’s all you’ve ever known. But also, remember that quite often if it smells like a duck, quacks like a duck, eats your stale Wendy’s fries like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

In recent years, if I find that popular opinion on an issue nags at me, I do my best to investigate until I’ve gotten to the very bottom of it, and often I will find that popular opinion is wrong and then I investigate why. Sometimes it’s flat-out wrong. Maybe it’s the empath in me (and oh boy, am I) but I find that life’s grey areas seem to draw me in, as I’m constantly trying to avoid the outrage of both sides, trying to get to the gooey center; the why.

I think for me it always comes down to knowing in my heart that God loves us all and doesn’t have a team. Sure, He wants evil to lose in the end, and would prefer it if we all weren’t doing evil things, but deep down in His heart, He just wants us, loves us and wants us to be good, good people. I assume this about God because it has been true of me as a mother, and seems to be true of my parents, and their parents, and their parents, forever and ever, amen.

Basically, assume that about everyone, assume that about God, assume that about the person who is aggravating the snot out of you with their ridiculous and sometimes even hate-filled social media posts. By the way, is there still social media where you are? If the apocalypse has already arrived and there is peace on earth, and the lamb and the lion are lying down together without any ire, please disregard.

I love you,

(Courtney Morrill)


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