Recently, I wrote about how religion can be a damaging influence.
Tonight, I want to clarify that by saying that, I’m not putting down the idea of family or of the conservative life.
I’m not saying all religion is bad, either.
Being a former reporter, I’ve learned to look at things objectively and see both sides.
This morning I visited one of my oldest friends, who is a mother. Her little boy toddled around, and he is open and affectionate. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but he feels comfortable sitting with me.
I think that is a wonderful credit to her and her husband’s parenting skills, because he obviously feels very safe and is openly affectionate. I enjoyed having him snuggle up to me, and holding him was wonderful. But does that mean I will be a mom myself someday? Not necessarily.
The jury is still out on that one.
She talked with me, but always kept an eye on him as well. He clearly adores her, and she was delighted by the small things he did. He looks a lot like her also, with wild curls and many expressions that she makes. She’s a wonderful, happy woman who married her best friend and is in a marriage based on respect and equality. They talk all day long. They respect each other’s feelings, but also get out how they really feel about things as well. They’re not afraid to tell each other the truth. They both work, and support each other’s dreams. I have known her for over 15 years, and I can honestly say that marriage has made her a happier person. It’s enriched her life. She and her husband respect and love one another, and they balance each other out.
What’s interesting is that they are both also of different religions– but that was not an issue. They merged these two cultures, and did it with joy. They were in love, so they just made it happen. They are a wonderful example that you don’t have to stay within your own tradition or religion to find happiness in love, or to be happily married.
For them, marriage, family and religion are a wonderful center in their life together.
What does it mean to be “conservative?”
For many people, it’s defined by political beliefs. Many people assume that a conservative viewpoint is interchangeable with voting Republican. That’s not necessarily true.
Conservative can mean that your life is centered on family, that you don’t believe in sharing your problems with the world, that you’re careful with your money, and that you live a life of temperance when it comes to alcohol and or chemical substances.
Conservative is not necessarily a bad thing.
My friend has a phenomenal work ethic, a good job, a creative and charismatic personality that draws in everyone she meets, is a loyal friend that will never tell your secrets, and is a devoted wife and mother. She comes from a big family, and is naturally gifted as a mother. Being around her son and her family, she exudes this wonderful love. Yet, she’s also very protective when needed be. She’s not pretentious at all. She’s a big hugger. She laughs a lot. I hold incredible admiration for her.
In some ways, she’s conservative. Yet, she also embraces and champions liberal causes.
I think all of this makes her a fantastic human being and one of my favorite people on the planet.
She’s like a sister to me.
For her, marriage has been something wonderful. She makes me believe in marriage.
Yet, there are many people who are happily single or in relationships but unmarried, who choose not to have children, who choose to focus on career, art, or travel or who don’t believe in religion. And they are equally happy, and I admire and respect them just as much.
And those choices are not any less valid.