Do you need saving?
Would you like to be enlightened?
Convinced there is a better way to live?
Educated about how much more effective or fulfilling your life could be?
By virtue of attempting to advocate your line of thought - on anything (parenting, religion, interpersonal relations, politics, food) you are assuming that my current life format is in some way insufficient. So, before you embark on marketing your particular cause, you insult me.
Without: Jesus, Dr. Sears, Landmark, Aish, Phish, Dr. Oz or Rush Liumbaugh, I am managing just fine.
My friends form a motley crew of sorts - they range from vegan hippies to card-carrying NRA members. They are atheists and Charedim. My parties are amusing, I promise.
I am intrigued by a wide range of opinions and lifestyles, and eager to hear about each one (if you are the sort who is inclined to tell me.)
What perplexes me, however, is the seemingly innate need to proselytize.
While I absolutely want to learn about your way of life, why you chose it, how that came to be, and why you value it, our discourse needs to stop short of persuasion.
Don't get me wrong - I respect convictions. My favorite kind of person feels strongly about something.
I debated in high school, plus I'm Jewish - so I was born to "heatedly discuss." By the time I was 16, I was a dedicated Republican going head to head with my Socialist father over fish sticks and Tang. No problem there.
In Hebrew, they have so many words that we lack in English. I'm told that Yiddish is the most expressive language - it's a shame I can only regurgitate a few colorful remarks from my Grandmother. In Hebrew they say "zorem."
Literally translated, it means "flows" like a waterfall flows, or like feelings flow after inhibitions have died down (or been intentionally muted.) But in Hebrew, it can refer to a characteristic or a lifestyle. Generally, I live my life in a "zorem" kind of fashion, or at least I have for the last several years.
Unless you're doing damage, whatever you're doing is a-ok by me.
Gay marriage? I bet that's one helluva wedding.
Baaltshuva? Glad that an increased level of observance and spiritualism is bringing you joy.
Gluten-free? Bummer about the brownies, but you go on with your bad self.
Just because your choice is the most sensational thing ever for you, that doesn't mean it might or will or should be for me. By pushing your elected path at me, you are judging me, deeming me defective, bestowing pity and arrogantly determining that you can solve my "problem" all with one little wag of your finger.
I'm ecstatic that you're overjoyed with your choices. I'm similarly delighted with mine. Can't we just be thrilled together?