Two years ago a friend walked out of my bathroom and began talking about "The Great Debate." The debate was how you hang your toilet paper. I never noticed, or even thought, about it before. I hang the paper as it comes. I don't pay attention to how its hanging or how it's coming off the roll. Just for the heck of it I went to my four bathrooms and looked. I have two rolls hanging over and two rolls hanging under. Apparently, I really need variety.
Toilet paper is a necessity. It comes in lots of different strengths, textures and even designs. Toilet paper is something that everyone uses. Something we all have in common. No matter what your ethnicity, your religion, your gender, if you live in America you more than likely use toilet paper. See, we all have that in common.
But, like everything else in our lives, we take the smallest things and compete with them. My friend brought up to the rest of the women in the living room the debate. And it was not the content of the debate that I noticed but the reactions of others. One of my friends had this look on her face that clearly read, "What the hell does it matter?" Another friend immediately answered, her answer was clear and confident. The friend who asked agreed, instantly. The other woman sitting in our group seemed very confused. She got up, walked into my bathroom and pulled the toilet paper down. She then took the roll off and flipped it over and pulled another section off. After she did both of these, she came to a conclusion and stuck with it.
I realized that day the differences in personalities. The person who goes with the flow, who jumps on the bandwagon and chooses the most popular answer. To this day I noticed she never has her own opinion on anything and she pretty much just says whatever everyone else says. Her opinion changes with who she is with. She likes country music if the other person likes country music. She hates country music if the person she is with hates country music. I find I don't respect or even listen to half of what she says.
Then there are those who are strong in whom they are. They know who they are and what they want out of life. They have definite opinions and they aren't scared to give them. But, at the same time, they don't always research, they aren't always cautious, and sometimes they are impulsive. While I respect this friend greatly, there are often times I know she doesn't know what she is talking about, but had the need to be part of the conversation and so she gave a uniformed opinion. She is the type that will vote party line no matter what, even if she doesn't know who the politician is, even if she doesn't know anything about the issue she is voting on. That can drive me nuts.
Then, there are those who don't know what they like. So, they go out and they investigate. They try all things, all angels and come up with a conclusion. Once they have made up their mind, and have an informed opinion, only then they will tell you. But, you have the assurance that they aren't just going to say something to say it. They will know what they are talking about or they simply just won't say anything at all. She is one of my best friends. I know if she is giving me advice on an issue that she has the knowledge or has done the research. She will admit when she doesn't know something, she will then go find the information, or she will simply say she doesn't care. Her honesty, her maturity is something I strive for.
Me, well I am working on it. There are items that I don't really care about and I agree with just to agree. I am working on not doing that, but being honest and saying I don't care. Sometimes I give an opinion on something and it is an opinion, not a fact, and I need to be clearer when I say things.
I am trying to be confident in who I am. What I believe. What I think. That if I scare someone off with my views, then they aren't mature enough to be in my life anyway.
There are things I know a whole lot about but because one of my friends will be so competitive or passionate about, that I won't speak up over, or I will let them say the wrong thing, knowing it's the wrong thing, simply because I don't want the confirmation or argument. I have discovered lately I don't need those types of people in my life. You should be able to respectfully agree to disagree; you should be open to discussing items, and open to being wrong.
I am ok with being wrong.
Hell, I like it.
Because it is when I am wrong that I grow.
When I don't know something is when learning is happening. And I love learning.
Intelligence is not about knowing everything, but knowing where to go to get the information when you don't know something.
And… I don't really care how you hang your toilet paper as long as there is toilet paper there to wipe my butt with.