I recently saw a few posts in my Twitter feed about unfollowing people with differing political views...and it really bothered me. 

I mean, I get it if you're seeing things you find offensive.  Okay.  Unfollow, turn them off, that's fine.  But I worry that we're getting to a point where we only want to hear messages we agree with.  I worry about not liking a book because the reader doesn't like the protagonist as a person or agree with all the choices that character makes.  I worry that we only want to read books or see art or have friends who are just like us, who reflect the exact same values or ideas we have. 

I don't want a world that looks like me.  I want friends and books and art and music and movies to push me out of my comfort zone.  I want what I think to be challenged.  I want to be shown new ways of looking at the world.  In many ways, I'm not the same Holly Schindler in 2014 that I was in 2000.  Nor would I want to be.  Nor would I want to still be the same me I am now in 2024.  I'm not sure that you grow if you don't get pushed.

For my money, the prettiest tree on the planet is the Christmas tree--because it's full of so many different ornaments and lights and accessories.  Every tree is a total hodgepodge, and no two trees are ever exactly the same.  That's the way people should be--it's the way literature should be.  Each writer is a product of a lifetime spent reading all sorts of different authors from different backgrounds in different genres.  So should each person be a product of being exposed to a multitude of different walks of life, different opinions, different attitudes.

To me, being exposed to new visions and viewpoints, being forced to see the world from a different angle, is the greatest gift any creative person could ever receive...


  1. Holly, I really like this post. It's a great perspective! I like to be exposed to others' views. I guess it depends on what, though. Some differences I can tolerate more than others and some topics I see as grey whereas others are black and white to me. I love your Christmas tree analogy too.

  2. Well said, Holly. I worry about the direction of discourse in our country--where people of all political views are so quick to be offended that we shut down conversation, creating only further offense. I think the difference lies in how those views are presented. I can be friends with people who disagree with me, in real life and online, as long as we can respect each other while disagreeing. Some people don't seem able to do that :-( And I agree with Margie about your Christmas tree example--love it!

  3. Totally agree, guys. Courtney: I so miss the era of we disagree but we still respect each other. Side-note: My hometown has long been in the midst of a debate / fight / etc. over whether or not to add the LGBT community to the non-discrimination ordinance. I DO NOT understand why my town only presents it as protection for the LGBT community. Doesn't it also protect the straight community from being wrongfully fired or denied housing? Why do we always put the LGBT members in the subordinate roles? What happened to protection for one is protection for all? Why are we not in this whole thing together?

  4. As Maggie and Courtney said, love the Christmas tree analogy!

  5. I love the Christmas tree analogy! And as for the rest -- ironically, given how much info we now all have instant access to, social media/tech unfortunately also allows us hide in these 'like-minded' bubbles, following the feeds of only those who agree with us and thus limiting the broader social water-cooler discourse.

  6. So true, Holly! Some of the best ideas in life (like democracy) come from a compromise forged by people with drastically opposing views who work together.


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