Is you life homogeneous?

I was having lunch with some friends on Saturday and an interesting conversation got going about how some of our lives follow the same general structure in most areas and some don’t.

For instance, one of our friends is a straight, married, relatively well-off contractor. He drives a pickup truck, owns a nice home, votes republican, believes in George W. and in all ways of his life he is very consistent in his views, what he buys, how he lives, what opinions he holds, etc. (we still love him anyway :slight_smile: )

Another of our group votes libertarian and contributes to Greenpeace, but has a big family, so drives a big, honkin’ SUV. She buys organic vegetables, but cares not where her beef, chicken and fish come from - and cares not a bit about GMO’s. She is against the coming war in Iraq, but supported our attacks in Afghanistan.

Me personally? I’m a left-wing liberal gay-boy. Who rides a Harley. And doesn’t own a gun - although I’ve been trained and know how to shoot. I vote democrat most of the time, although I support an awful lot of the “other” side’s economic policy and am registered as an independent. I’m an engineer, but I pursue art, gardening and such more of the time.

… and so forth.

Anyway, the conversation basically centered around why we thought some folks tended to go “down one path” most of the time and others seem to diverge all over the map - politcally, economically, sexually, in our hobbies and interests, etc.

Are the “straight laced” folks just consistent or afraid to change? Are the more “adventurous” among us willing to try anything and be flexible or are they just scattered and unable to take a stand?

What do you think?

I find myself thinking about this topic a lot too. I think it started to occur to me when I attended my first College Republicans meeting with my half-blue-half-shaved head, wearing combat boots, a chain wallet and a Rudiments shirt that read ‘Bitch Bitch Bitch’. They later made me vice president, but I digress.

I think a lot of people just aren’t aware that they can be one thing and not another, or are afraid of being seen as fake if they don’t tow the party line all the way. I consider myself conservative, but disagree with a lot of the social issues in the conservative camp. Because of this, I’ve often been labelled a ‘traitor’ and a phony. I’ve had people refuse to listen to my arguments and beliefs because I don’t buy into the complete doctrine. That’s why I come here now.

Interesting question

I consider myself apolitical (don’t vote, loathe all politicians; do not believe in democracy at all), yet study political history and love political theory. I have an opinion on everything, often voice it, and love to debate.

I hate the rich yet I am terrified of socialism or communism or anything far left. Also hate free market capitalism but accept that it’s the less of many evils.

If I had to describe myself in specturm terms I’d say centrist,leaning right yet an atheist, pro-choice pro-war artist-type who loves nature and animals yet cannot stand protest ( I love to watch TV footage of protesters being beaten and hosed), eats all meat, distrusts vegans, does not recycle, has misogynist leanings, abhorrs all censorship yet can’t stand radical artsy types that smear shit on pictures of Christ to push buttons, who deplores materialism yet, again, finds free market capitalism and conspicous consumption better than co-op living and socialism, considers Ayn Rand a godhead yet gives money to panhandlers.

So, I guess, NO my life is far from homogenous.

However, I do know what I believe in very strongly.

I consider myself open to anything. None of my beliefs are so concrete that they can’t be changed by solid evidence from an opposing position.

I think it’s very important to carefully study what “the other side” is thinking before making up your mind. Sometimes, by listening with an open mind, I have changed my point of view on issues. In my opinion, to take a firm stance and refuse to consider opposing views on anything is ignorant and close-minded. If you’re still convinced that you’re right after carefully listening to the opposing view, then all is well and good. Hell, you can look at it in a “Know thine enemy” way if you wish, but at least know what points the “other side” has to offer before dismissing them out of hand.

For example, though I’m an athiest, I watch “The 700 Club.” I watch C-SPAN to see what politicians on the opposing side are advocating. I read both conservative and liberal literature, and check out web sites of idealologies with which I disagree. As a young person, I read publications designed for retirees, and both reputable and “revisionist” science papers. It never hurts to have information, even if you happen to disagree with it.

Very interesting indeed. I’m unique… just like everybody else (;)). Seriously though, I do see contradictions in my life - I guess I’m neither one way or the other (like your SUV drivin’ lady friend).

For example:

I’ve been old enough to vote in 2 Presidential elections now. The first time I voted for Bill Clinton. This last time I voted for GWB. For me, it’s really a lesser of the two evils decision. For 2004, I’m leaning towards Kerry or Lieberman, if they run. I agree with Democrats on a lot of things but lean towards the Republicans on others. I’m pro-choice but also support the death penalty. I would like to see more done to protect our environment and I am also fiscally conservative. I think social programs are a needed and sometimes good thing but I think they can use a reforming. I support the right to bear arms but I don’t plan to own a gun myself. I was active duty Air Force for four years.

I have 3 tattoos but you’d never know it, looking at me. An Ex said I could range from Grace Kelly to Courtney Love in my style (I’m usually somewhere in between). I shop at the Hippie Vegetarian grocery store. I drive a Mustang with the bumper sticker “Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty” on it (usually only seen on a VW bus around here. I recycle. I’m agnostic but I’m thinking of exploring Reform Judaism.

So, who knows. :slight_smile:

Most certainly not! How dare you!

And I am NOT a thespian!

I’m not really too comfortable writing a lot about myself, so please understand that the emphasis on “me” is only in order to address the OP. Also, please excuse the rambling nature of the response.

Well, here goes. First and most damming…I’m an Independent. So I am all over the place at first glance. However, I do think that there is a consistency in my beliefs and actions.

At the moment, I oppose the coming war, because of a lack of convincing details, and because of the aftermath effects such as increased AntiAmericanism. I also do not agree with Bush’s doctrine of preemptive attacks on other nations. But I feel strongly that we should have intervened in some of the events in Africa, where there was true genocide taking place. The reason that I would intervene in Africa is that there is a clear and agreed horrible abuse of ethicnic groups. I’ve written to my congressmen, but not taken part in a public protest.

There should be a complete separation of church and state. I know that will upset some, but we only need to look at Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to see the results of allowing any religion to have too much power. I think that religion is a personal thing, not a national thing. Abortion should be an individual choice…including the father, BTW. I’m a public agnostic, but have a private hope that there is something else other than us.

As part of my belief in the individual, I tend to not support an overly generous social assistance program. Not everyone deserves to go to college, nor should we pretend that everyone could benefit from highr education. On the other hand, our society needs to honor the skilled craftsman and the highly educated equally.

Our environment deserves a great deal of care. We need to examine (as Americans) to our fascination with material excess.

Now…do I walk the walk? I put myself through graduate school, my two sons are successful nice independent men. I turned down a medical retirement a few years ago to continue working, but I’ve been able to retire recently because I started an individual retirement program 30 years ago. I volunteer at two different organizations. I rescue endangered plants. I also drive a pickup truck that gets fairly good mileage.

My friends are a very varied group. We range across the board, but it seems that we all pretty much can discuss and repect each other’s positions. However, we are all of a certain age…a pretty mellow group, but with individual passions.

So my patchwork seems to be consistent to me, but it may appear to be very inconsistent to an outside viewer.

As I believe I’ve said before, I’m a philosophically and theologically conservative Christian bellydancing artsy girl who goes to goth clubs and wears combat boots.

In answer to the OP, I think one should be consistent in what one believes without caring whether or not it fits a particular stereotype, especially in the extraneous areas (e.g. “oh, he’s a vegetarian. He must have long hair and be politically Left”).

Another peculiarly commingled sort here.

Reserved isolated loner person, strong on individual rights (a notion sometimes supported best by the right wing, sometimes by the left), radically pro-choice, hunter (small game, squirrels etc), musician, LSD tripper, social worker, Macintosh and FileMaker geek, back-woods hiker, enthusiastic consumer of good foods (including everything from wholesome vegetarian to all-out carnivorous portuguese barbecue), iconoclastically religious/spiritual, ploddingly serious argumentative person with a fondness for awful puns and quips.

See? I knew I’d get a more thoughtful series of responses here than my friends managed to muster (of course, we were having burgers and nachos at the time…)

OK, so here’s a follow-up that came in to my head while I was reading everyone’s posts - -

What do suppose MAKES a person either be extremely consistent and stick to one “mode”, (for lack of a better word) or in the other direction, not seem content to settle for any one direction? I’ve noticed that several of us don’t define our beliefs in terms of our lifestyle choices, but others do - sometimes in a big way.

I believe most people need to “belong”…there is safety in numbers

I am registered Independant, but tend to vote deomcratic
I don’t believe in this Iraq deal, I do think we needed to do something in Afghanistan, but it should’ve done been done with troops, not dropping bombs from 30,000 ft…better yet, we should have cared about the Afghans after the Russians pulled out, not after a bunch of Saudis flew a plane into the WTC
The rich suck, I live in a rich area and work for some very rich people
I am an impetuous,emotional person, but don’t act until I have thought over my actions…usually
I guess i am all over the place!!