Friday, January 13, 2012

Opining... (edited)

- I think that if I ask your opinion or view on a topic, I'm very grateful when you share. I also think that although I may ultimately make a different choice on that topic, it doesn't mean I'm dismissing your views as worthless, false or unimportant. In fact, they may have been a large piece of my decision making process. We ask opinions and views in an effort to incorporate others views into our own- not to obliterate our own perspective- to expand it.

-I think that presenting your self as an undisputed authority on international adoption, simply on the basis that you yourself were adopted and have adopted, is tantamount to me saying "Of course I'm not racist. My son is black." There are more pieces to these puzzles. It may make you the expert on YOUR adoption experience. Not other families. My singular experience, doesn't qualify me as indisputable.

-I think that online forums can be a source of great support, substance, self inspection and friendship.



Shannon- said...

I should say, as I get older I'm learning to keep my mouth and fingers quiet.... er.

Liz said...

I think I know what prompted this post.

I think that online forums are tricky because it's hard to convey tone and emotion with words alone and it's easy to attribute ill intentions to someone that you "know" but don't REALLY know - you know?

I think that when we get hot and bothered by something than an adult transracial adoptee is saying, we should step back and ask ourselves what, exactly, is making us all hot and bothered? Is it really what they are saying (or how we perceive they are saying it)? Or is it that we don't want to admit that they might be right?

I think that I might be in the minority in my opinion of the situation I think you are referencing, but I hope that we can all still be friends anyway.

Shannon- said...

That thread was part of it. I have a family member that I can no longer discuss issues with until after I've made decisions with either. And I value her opinion. I do. It was the follow up and dismissing the decisions of others that gets me. It's a sore spot for sure. I NEED perspective from others. My personal circle is so small. I weigh those insights that are so vastly different than mine, perhaps more than other views. And yet, to be dismissed as not valuing or not even listening is ... not nice. And makes me not want to reach out again. Makes me instinctively dismiss opinion, not because of it having value, but because I'd feel compelled that I MUST do as they say... you know? there is value in her opinion. I WANT to hear it... but- to be attacked for deciding on different outcome... no thanks.

And yes. I still choose you as a friend! And see- we have very different views on lots of things, and that makes your perspecives SO valuable to me!

Humans. We are an ever changing species. I have much to learn.

Liz said...

There seemed to be non-listening and dismissing of opinions on both sides of that on-line thread, at least from my perspective...I thought about writing a post there to help both sides see things from the other's perspective, but the group seemed to move on before I could pull my thoughts together enough to do it.

Glad we're still friends!

scooping it up said...

I LOVE NOT BEING APART OF THAT GROUP. It has reduced my stress so much. That being said, I really really want to know what went down. Call you later. :)

Claudia said...

Oh Shannon, this:

And yet, to be dismissed as not valuing or not even listening is ... not nice. And makes me not want to reach out again. ...I WANT to hear it... but- to be attacked for deciding on different outcome... no thanks.

sums up EXACTLY what I wanted to say. There are some people out there who have really valuable life experiences, but who seem to think that when I decide on a different course of action than they would, it's because I wasn't listening to them / was threatened by what they had to say / don't perceive their experience to be valuable. Buuuuut.... we're all different people, with different values and different resources, and we make different decisions even when we have the same inputs. . Coming to different points of view doesn't mean that we have dismissed someone else's input. It just means that we have come to a different point of view!

Like you, it drives me insane when people are not okay with that. I overthink everything, and I am ALL for listening to the hard stuff. But in the end... everybody needs to respect everybody else's right to draw their own conclusions.

(And, for context, I'm pretty sure I know what online exchange you and liz are referring to. I personally am in favour of as much openness as possible (including visits, etc) so I was in no way threatened by anything that the person in question was saying. But I found the manner of saying it to be extremely unhelpful; offensively so, because she was dismissing other people's parenting and, basically, character. Not cool, imo. The rules of human politeness apply to EVERYBODY, no matter what their background, no matter how helpful their insights can be.

Annie said...

Ohhh i so wish i knew what is going down! Fill me in! Hope everything is OK!

The Lost Planetista said...

Oh yeah- I know the conversation you're talking about too (even though I quit that group a few months ago). I heard about the conversation through the grapevine which is funny in itself, but also proves that you weren't the only person REALLY REALLY bothered.

I know it probably sounds terrible, but I've sort of decided to surround myself with people who are kind and generous. Whether or not they agree with me on everything is not the issue. I just want to feel understood and to be able to ask questions in earnest without being judged. Especially about adoption stuff- because it so easily gets into really intense conversational territory- I want to be talking with people who posses good communication skills and open hearts.