I suppose that's the risk we take for publicly producing our words. And it's one I'm very willing to take. If I were to look back at my thoughts from a few years ago and believe the exact same thing about everything, something must be wrong. Defining and tweaking who we are is what life is all about.
As I have posted in my People, Places and Things life experiences and people change me everyday. I have been fortunate enough to do some pretty incredible things in my life and I must credit these opportunities for the perspective they have given me. I shutter at the thought of being the same person I was in high school--always trying to fit in, going with the flow and being embarrassed because of personal choices. I'm even more thankful that since then my true passions in life have surfaced.
My post from a few days ago, In My Opinion, received a lot of feedback. I got a few comments from readers here on the blog, but also posted In My Opinion on my Facebook page. That is where a larger conversation took place about the words I choose to share. I must say, most understood my concern for the students of OU and other similar institutions combating high risk drinking, and some took major defense to my words. This is where I believe change comes into play. I'm not sure I would have taken this stance 10 years ago. I'm not sure I would have even cared. But I do now. And that is what has changed.
Passion is a funny thing. Passion makes people do some pretty incredible things--gives strength and confidence that once didn't exist. Passion often doesn't let you sit quietly, waiting for someone else to speak up. Passion stirs your stomach into a hurricane of movement--and gives your heart its purpose.
I'm not sure I remember raising my hand and begging for College Student Personnel to pick me. Heck I hardly knew what CSP was until I was in college. But somehow and somewhere during my time at Bluffton and my time working with college aged students, CSP started to make a lot of sense.
And that's why Matt and I are here now--following our dreams, our passions, our desires. We are living in a place drastically different from our undergraduate experience--and we are thankful for those differences. These differences only give our beliefs more validity. We have had the chance to experience a small private liberal arts school and now we are experiencing a large public school. I can compare environments because I've been in both. Matt and I are extremely thankful for the opportunity to see higher education from both the public and private stance. And no matter where we end up professionally (public or private) we will always face issues that need passion. I will always desire for health and wellness education to be available to college students and I will always take interest in the destruction of moral and ethical standards related to high risk decisions. I just will, because it's my passion.
And then there is the issue of your own passions hurting people. And I know I have hurt people just as others' passions have hurt me. And I am sorry that I have hurt people, and maybe my approach came off as more of a judgement than conviction... But what I am learning and what was so perfectly pointed out to me is the difference between convictions and judgements. A person with passion has convictions, a person with negative intentions makes judgements.
A quote from a dear friend of mine, Carrie:
"I think that conviction and judgement are different things. One stresses a truth with love, the other stresses a possible truth without consideration for the validity of another side. If a conviction challenges you, it may be hitting on a truth. If a judgement hurts you, that's a different thing.
love. as is so often the case, it's what makes the difference."
My previous post about OU and the out of control fest came from a place of conviction grounded in passion and love. It came from a place of deep love and concern for the 18-21 year old demographic. My intentions were not to hurt people, but to bring light to a situation that truly does need some resolve.
Making the choice to blog means I'm making a choice to receive all sorts of feedback; good and bad. It means I'm making a conscious choice to leave words in cyber space for all of time--it means I'm willing to change, develop and grow with an audience of friends, foes and strangers watching my every word. And that's okay...