I'm not someone who can express herself in a intelligent and thoughtful manner in the middle of a discussion. I really wish I was. There have been several times in my life where if I had just been able to process what was being said to me and form a good answer, things would have gone over better, either for me or the other person. But when caught in the middle of an unexpected conversation, it's as if my brain is whirling over whatever it is the other person brought up and anything I can say seems trite, simple, or unintelligent. Which then, of course, means that I spend hours or days thinking of all the things I wish I had said.
This last week I found myself in the middle of one of these kinds of conversations. It was tricky, because I started feeling like a part of my life--a choice I had made a long time ago--was being attacked, and by someone I considered a friend. And I couldn't seem to make this person see that. Then I started feeling as if this person was treating my ideas as if it was just because I was too young (I'm several years younger then my friend) and there's something really diminishing about being treated like a child just because your ideas differ from someone else's. I think it maybe my friend was trying to pass it off as a joke, but it was something so close to my heart that it was hard to take it that way.
I think what I'm trying to get at is . . . we all have different ideas. We may not always agree with each other--in fact, we may disagree with other people's ideas more than we agree with them. But that doesn't mean that we have to make them feel small, or attack them because of their ideas. There is a difference between having a conversation about ideas, and have a debate where you are trying to "win." Basically, and I'm sure I've said this before, let's just be nice and considerate of others. We're all entitled to our own ideas; you don't have to agree with them, but you don't have to be cruel--even if you think you're joking. Life is already so hard without tearing others down and causing discontent. I understand that you shouldn't just stop saying things because someone may be offended by it, but don't tear others down for doing the same thing.