Thoughts by Richard Bleil
EDITORIAL NOTE: My friend pointed out an error to me. Buddha (born Prince Siddharth) was raised in the Hindu faith, not Muslim. I’m not correcting that passage of the post as the point of that part of the post is my distress and confusion, a theme that I stand by. Hinduism follows the teachings of Lord Krishna and his friend Arjuna, and was born in India so, much to my shame, even the country of origin is off. My apologies for the error and for any offense I may have caused.
My life is something of an enigma. No, not enema, enigma. Get your mind out of the, well, sewer. But of late, I’ve had to explain a couple of times the difference between my liberal perspective, and my conservative lifestyle. I was thinking about a very good friend of mine, a very free spirit with a lifestyle that seems completely opposite of mine, and yet she means a lot to me. The reality is that she has a heart of gold, a mind as brilliant as any, a spirit as sweet as Mother Theresa and the body of Marilyn Monroe. If you put us next to each other, you’d swear I would be the narc that turns her in.
The funny thing about me is that I live a highly conservative life. I don’t drink, I’ve never taken drugs (not even a puff of marijuana), and sexually I live the life of a prude. No, I’m not a virgin, and I do enjoy sex, but I’ve always had a hard time separating the physical act of love from the emotional. I’ve never intentionally had a one-night stand. Don’t get the wrong idea, I know my friend well enough to know that she has probably had fewer lovers than I but you would probably never know it by looking at her.
Here’s the point, though. If you put us side by side, you’d probably be surprised that we’re even friends. I live my life in a very conservative lifestyle, while she lives a very liberal life. But the funny thing is that my belief structure better suits her lifestyle than my own.
This is the dichotomy of Bleil. I’ve never taken drugs, even to the point of smoking pot, and yet I believe that drugs should be legalized. I haven’t had a lover since, well, Obama (thank God Trump was a one term president), and yet I believe people should be happy and never judged if they are promiscuous. As a matter of fact, the double standards of our society that paints promiscuous men as heroes but sexually active women as sluts drives me insane. I believe that as long as sexuality is not used as a weapon to harm others, then their sexual proclivities are nobody’s business but their own.
My beliefs gives others far more freedoms than I allow for myself. It’s odd, I know, but it’s just always been the way that I am. It’s probably unhealthy for me to live life as I do, but I’ve had people insist that I’m conservative because of the way I do choose to live my life, but the reality is that my political leanings are liberal.
I suppose this makes me unusual. I know far too many people who find it difficult to come to grips with alternate beliefs in other people, let alone within themselves. And here I am, believing in rights and privileges in others that I deny myself. The reality is that this is fairly easy to explain. See, I believe in personal freedom. I believe that people should be allowed to life the life that makes them happy, provided it does no harm to others. I’m heterosexual, but the sexual orientation of others has no impact on my or my life. I’m not Christian, but the religious beliefs of others does not influence the way I live. I’m not affiliated with a political party, but the affiliations of others does no harm to me. The color of people’s skin, the drugs people use, whether people drink coffee or tea (although it should be tea) makes no difference to me, so why would I try to dictate what they should do? Aside of course from tea.
I honestly believe I’m happier than those who work so hard to judge and try to dictate the actions and beliefs of others. That doesn’t mean that I don’t worry. I’ve had friends with drug addictions that I’ve worried about. Heck, my own wife’s addiction changed her personality to the point where I often think of myself as a widower since the woman I married is no longer alive. But it was her decision to turn to alcohol, and who am I to tell her she was wrong?
Believe what you believe. Live as you wish to live. But, in the end, let others live their lives as well. That does mean accepting the will of the majority. We’re a democracy, so the majority should be the deciding factor, not the party we personally like. But in the end, let love and tolerance win. You’ll be happier if you do.