Repost + a new review: You’re not changing political minds on Facebook +Joshilyn Jackson’s “The Opposite of Everyone”

a3bfca12d7843a01d60e1673264f86dfThis is a repost, but it seemed like a good time to remind everyone!

It’s a little less than a year until our next presidential election. The election itself is something we all should take pride in, something in which we all should celebrate and participate. Prior to the actual election, everyone should become knowledgeable on the candidates and the issues, and should vote according to their conscience and their mind.

However, I don’t need to know your thoughts and ideas. If I want to know, I will ask you when I see you face to face.

I will admit that in the last election cycle, I was one of those irritating people who shared a bit too much of my mind on Facebook concerning my political beliefs. To those I offended, I’m sorry.

But guess what? I’m pretty sure sharing articles and memes, announcing my deep political thoughts and views changed no one’s mind. I know this, because no one else’s shares and feelings have changed my mind.

This time around, I’m still reading a lot of articles (on all sides of the issues) and making sure I’m informed. But I’m staying out of the fray on social media. I follow a lot of political people–candidates, political ‘operatives’, reporters–especially on Twitter. Sometimes I interact with them, but not often. I read what they have to say, peruse their articles, but I rarely retweet. And on Facebook, a place where I interact with many more of my friends and family? I now share NOTHING political.

Because what I believe, for myself, following my own conscience, is not going to change what you believe. It’s not going to change your vote, if you are actually voting according to your own beliefs. We might agree, and that’s all well and good, but we might not.

The reason I’m your friend, I hope, is because you have a good heart, and you follow your conscience. We may be on different sides of the political aisle, but we can agree on many things.

We love our families.

We want the world to be a better place.

We want to live our lives in peace.

We like to laugh. And maybe we like wine. And coffee. And fun.

These are the things that are important in friendships.

What this boils down to is this: politics is best discussed in person. And, if you don’t know what the issue is–well, Google is great for finding stuff out. Read about it before you spout about it. Or, if we see each other, or you text me or whatever, I’ll attempt to explain the issues or the candidates from all sides, from what I know. If by chance you want my opinion, you can ask.

But I know you’re not going to change my mind with your partisan article that hit all the points YOU with which you agree. And, if you and I do by chance fall on the same side of he political spectrum, we’re not changing minds with our articles. Even when, to us, they seem reasonable and smart.

Social media has given us spaces to find old friends and new ones, to find people we look up to and connect with them. But, when political season roles around, it’s a great time to lose friends by spouting your beliefs behind the seemingly anonymous computer or phone screen. We all like to think that if we like and respect a person, well, then they’re political beliefs must be inline with our political beliefs. But I try not to choose my friends by their politics.

So, I’ve learned. I’ll Tweet all about my girls and and the wonderful things they’re doing. I’ll ramble about my family on Facebook. I’ll Insta pictures of my dogs. I’ll even pontificate about the incredibly annoying commercials gracing the airways at any given moment. But I will NOT share any political messages.

At least not this election cycle.

And now onto a lighthearted, fun book: The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson.

I had spent my whole life hungry for forgiveness. It had not come, so I didn’t know firsthand what he was feeling. But I had imagined it, over and over. I’d wanted it so bad. I’d wanted Kai—or anyone, anyone who knew the worst in me—to say that I was still dear, and good, and worthy.

Paula Vauss

 The Premise

Paula Vauss is a tough-as-nails divorce attorney. No nonsense, no emotional entanglements, no problems. But it wasn’t always like that.

Growing up, Paula traveled light with her free-spirited mother, Kai,who named her Kali Jai (although her grandparents, in charge of the birth certificate, called her Paula). Raised on stories of Hindu gods — some traditional, some woven into their story by Kai, Paula follows her mother from boyfriend to boyfriend. But when her anger gets the best of her in her early teen years, she calls the police on the current boyfriend and his weed-growing enterprise in Georgia. Unwittingly, she also gets her mother arrested, sending her to foster care. The bond between the pair is fractured, and when the truth of the phone call is learned, it can never be repaired.

Fast forward to the present, where attorney Paula sends her mother money every month to assuage her guilt. When the last comes back to her with a note from her mother with a cryptic note “I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works,” Paula’s life is turned upside down.

While she’s dealing with that, Paula’s unknown brother  (he was born in prison, and was put up for adoption) shows up, and they discover a sister last in Kai’s care. With the help of Paula’s investigator (who is somewhat more) Birdwine, the three might just figure out how to help the young girl.

My Thoughts

The Opposite of Everyone was a really fun, emotional read. Just what I needed after a few dark mysteries and a very heavy literary fiction book.

Paula is a very flawed, very likable character, especially as the book goes on. Her heartaches and hurts that made her the tough woman she is are explained as they tough exterior is rubbed away.

Birdwine, the incredibly damaged man that Paula seems to actually – maybe – love, is an incredible anti-hero.

The weaving of Hindu legend and lore, as well as the way Kai takes the stories and makes them American and Southern and personal, is beautiful. The subtext and lesson of the book is Karma, and how you have to make peace with your past mistakes in order to move on with your life in any constructive way.

I give The Opposite of Everyone 4 stars.  Joshilyn Jackson never disappoints. Thank you!!


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