There used to be time when I was a member of an online gaming forum.
The thing is, I never talked about video games.
I was the worst video game forum member ever.
I talked about politics and social issues with the guys and girls on there. I met a ton of different kids, teenagers and adults.
And when I mean “different” I’m serious about it.
I met a lot of unique gamers with a lot of unique views.
Some of the craziest was an agnostic conservative, and a communist who believed in nature gods (think river, tree, and earth gods).
I’m not even kidding.
It was weird, and I didn’t really know how to take it.
“You believe in river gods? You’re pulling my leg, right?”
He wasn’t pulling my leg. Not one bit.
But he was a nice guy, and I wanted to talk to a communist. So I got over it.
Now that I look back on that video game forum life, I notice how much I learned.
I learned a lot about getting along. I definitely learned a lot about making new friends.
I also learned that political views do not define someone.
You’ve got to know the person outside of their views. Their views are only a small part of who they are.
Here’s what I mean…
The Myth of the Evil Communist
What’s do you think of when I say communists?
I’m guessing your first thought is mass murders, killers, Russians, or deceptive spies.
In reality, communists look different.
The typical communist stereotypes only apply to communist dictators, regimes and the crazy communist leaders. And even then it gets a little sketchy.
The average communist isn’t a Russian or Chinese spy. They’re not wanna-be murders. They’re not even deceptive.
They just believe in communism. They might even play video games on the side like this guy did.
The Danger of That Myth
Stereotypes keep you from reaching out to people. (Click to Tweet)
They’re lies, spread to keep you and me in state of fear and hatred toward communists. These lies are meant to keep us away from them.
“Why would I want to meet a communist? They’re crazy psychopaths who want to rule the world.”
No, they’re not.
Communists believe in helping the poor too. They want equality and justice. They just go about it differently compared to you and me.
You need to realize that the average communist is just like you. Thinking otherwise only handicaps you. It prevents you from having constructive conversations, growing, evangelizing, and keeping an open mind.
When That Myth Fell Apart
So what happens when the myth is finally broken? What happens when you realize your view of communists was false?
It depends on the situation and the person. But, sometimes you run the risk of switching sides or, at the least, coming out of it confused about your beliefs.
If your opinions of a person are based on hate and fear, you’ve just put yourself on an unstable foundation.
A foundation that can easily break once you meet a friendly communist who enjoys roller skating and Pink Floyd.
The Benefits of a Healthy Outlook on Communists
Don’t believe in the myth. Ok, got it. But what’s so great about it?
Can changing your opinion on who communists are really help? Is it really that powerful?
Yes it is. Here’s a few points why…
- You learn more about what communism really is (I learned so much from that communist when I talked to him for weeks on end. It was so informative).
- Conversation vs. Arguing. Which one do you think is more useful? Which one do you think is a result of not believing in the communist myth?
- You can find hobbies and things you both enjoy doing. That’s called building a friendship.
- Kill ‘em with kindness: the more friendly conservatives and libertarians your communist friend knows the more positive he’ll view them. It’s called influencing friends (in a healthy and legal way).
- It’s so important to keeping an open mind. You’ll run into people of every opinion and movement. Deciding to accept it can go a long way in making your experience better. An honest desire to learn from these people will grow you.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve run into someone different and ended up learning a great deal from them.
The growth you see in yourself later on down the road is amazing. Not to mention all the friends you make is a big plus.
While I was participating on that online game forum, I got to talk to a lot of people. But I’ll always remember that communist with the odd religious beliefs.
He was worth the time spent.
We used to have week long conversations about different political issues. And this was when my views were relatively green. Talking with him helped me flesh out my own views.
I grew from that experience.
I just hope that you take the time to do what I did. It won’t look the same, but it’ll be worth it.
Maybe you’ll meet an atheist (who’s a traditionalist), or maybe you’ll meet a radical feminist (who’s a devout catholic).
The possibilities are endless, and incredibly interesting.
So what will it be? Will you break through the stereotypes and get to know someone different? Will you open your mind to new opinions? Will you make a friend who doesn’t share your political worldview?