Monday, March 7, 2011

Multiple Currents Within the Mainstream


In most ways, I am as mainstream as it gets - in the way I live and in the eyes of most members in my ward and stake. My politics and perspectives on quite a few topics are quite different than many of theirs, but I don't make a big deal out of it. I try to comment quietly and kindly and calmly, even when I am trying to "correct" something that has been said (and I almost always preface my comments with something like "I think ...") - so most people don't take what I say as "radical" or "non-mainstream". Honestly, probably almost half of what I say in Church is different than what others are saying, but since I'm not confrontational or subversive in any way it's cool. Everyone knows I am fully committed to the Church, so my opinions aren't viewed as threatening or argumentative or non-mainstream. 

I don't think I'm the exception as far as my actual views being slightly (or even significantly) different than others. I think there are lots of members who have widely varying views about lots of things - but most aren't as comfortable expressing those views as I am expressing mine.  However, I think there are many who don't want or need to try to construct their own puzzle. They are fine with taking the puzzle built by others and living within it - and most of them live righteous, productive, caring lives. I don't begrudge them their perspective, since it works for them. It just doesn't work for me - and many others.

Frankly, I think there are two basic currents within the "mainstream" (with various sub-groups within each):

1) The ones I've just described who really don't think much about the details swim in the middle of the stream - generally in a pretty tight bunch with life jackets firmly attached;

2) The ones who like to try to play around in the details swim on the sides of the stream - generally spread all over the place diving and snorkeling and splashing away - sometimes totally out of direct sight of the other group.


Neither of the groups is "right" or "wrong" - just as swimmers who use different strokes aren't "right" or "wrong". Each might look like they are on different journeys to some in the other group, but I think we're all in the same main stream. In other words, we sometimes think we are swimming in a local creek or tributary when, in reality, we all are swimming in the Mississippi River and just might not be able to see those in a different current all the time.

1 comment:

backandthen said...

My issues with mainstream vs my vision of things are these:
a) when they want to force me into thinking like they do.
b) when I know the damages of their thinking and somewhat they know it too but admit they won't change because they are too scared.

Otherwise I am fine with them not having the same point of view. Beside who am I to tell that I am right?