My father (may his memory be a blessing) wanted us, his children, to think. He valued discussions. When he explained to us children, his and my mom’s beliefs of atheism and evolution, he concluded with, “But when you grow up, you decide for yourselves.”
As I grew up, I did think. I considered things, I thought, I explored, and I came to a different conclusion than my father: faith in God. And not just that, but a belief in the Messiah Yeshua. It turns out my father didn’t like that conclusion at all. Furthermore, he was afraid that my children, who were naturally brought up with my husband’s and my beliefs, would blindly follow in our faith, so he urged them to read widely from a variety of views, and to think!
Thinking is a value that both my husband and I share. We do not blindly follow a crowd, even if that crowd is “our” crowd – our faith crowd, our ethnic crowd, our homeschooling crowd, our…
And that can be unpleasant, because it is much more comfortable to fit in really smoothly. But we can’t, for the life of us, fake it. We do not buy wholesale whatever someone says. We give it thought, and if we disagree, we disagree. In some cases, we can just keep our opinions to ourselves, and that is the appropriate thing to do. In other cases, it might mean speaking up.
Having a different opinion, however, doesn’t mean we judge, hate, or despise people holding different views. I am ready to assume that most people have good motives and intentions. I am ready to love them regardless of beliefs or views that are different from mine. But in being true to what I believe, and more accurately in Whom I believe, I will dare to be different, even if I am shunned, or despised for it.