Monday, January 03, 2011


Last week on Facebook, a professor of mine from BYU posted this video called the "Eight Great Goods." Meanwhile, I had been considering whether or not I should do a "Year End Post" like everyone else in Blogland and had been thinking about what blogging has taught me. And that movie touched on it well.

In my journey of blogging, now for over 5 years, if there is one thing I have learned, I have learned that most, if not all, of the conflicts between people stem from priorities and where they lie. Basically, we place priorities of things in our lives and conflicts arise when we run into people who have their priorities in a different order than we do. And it's ok that they do that- it's part of how we are all different people- it's just something we need to recognize.

Let me explain with a few basic examples from my life.

For me, I value bodily and individual autonomy over family relationships- even my marriage relationship. It's what causes me to write posts like these. When I read of other women's experiences that involved, "Well, we didn't have a homebirth/UC because my husband/partner wasn't on board," my brain screams, "But it's YOUR body! Isn't that important to you?!" because someone telling me how to use my uterus- no matter who that person is- feels like an affront to my person and everything I stand for. But you see, I'm guessing that on the other side of the screen, when those women read the posts I linked to above, they are similarly screaming, "But it's your marriage/relationship! Isn't that important to you?!"

The thing is both answers are "Yes." I would guess that both me and those women would say, "Yes, my body is important to me. Yes, my marriage/relationship is important to me." The difference is where we place those in importance. The key is recognizing that.

One thing that really bugs me is the "Agree to disagree." I was once discussing spanking with someone at a party and I really really really cannot condone spanking ever. Really, I can't. And they were giving the standard pro-spanking arguments (let's not go into it here- this post is about priorities) and then decided to say, "Let's agree to disagree." I could not do that. Saying, "Fine, we disagree, and that's ok," made me feel like I was saying, "I think it's fine if you spank your future children." No, I can't agree to that. But as I thought about it later, what I could have agreed to is, "Well, it looks like we have different priorities." Yes, I can agree to that. Not striking my children ever- on their hands, on their butt, etc- is high on my priorities. More so than getting obedience from them. But I know many people who value obedience and that's just that. Sort of. Let's move on.

My point is that what I've learned from blogging- from commenters who disagree with me and blogs I read where you can find a lot of discussion on controversy- is that arguments stem from different people having different priorities. From breastfeeding to birthing to discipline to whether a home is neat (which I value very little, but I know some people put a lot of value in that) or if you attain a college degree- and even on a bigger scales between political parties and countries, between businesses and individuals- it comes down to priorities. And it's not necessarily that one particular idea should be valued over others. What we value is shaped by our experiences. And that's the same for everyone across the globe.

So that's what blogging has taught me. It has helped me be more at peace with the world. If I haven't made any sense, let me know in the comments. I'll try to clear things up.

Happy New Year!


  1. Well said. I've not really thought of things that way before...

  2. Great perspective. I think you nailed it.

  3. Hi , I love your blog . I think you are so smart and your great.. I have a question for ya. I am still nursing my 17 month old daughter . I will quit when she wants to even if she is 4 :) . . I want to take an appetite suppresant (diet pill) from Walmart but how much do you feel really goes through the breast milk? I have been really good at my choices of healthy foods and making sure I am careful for her but I have just cant lose the last 8 or so pounds from my pregnancy. I have'nt taken anything and I just want your advice .. Thank-you for such a great blog.

  4. Thank you Heather! I appreciate your thoughts especially today when I am struggling with the priorities of others. Putting it into that perspective really helped me.

  5. What a great thing to learn from blogging! I think this is a perspective that I'll have to remind myself of more. I can see now how I've judged others for not placing the same importance on something that I value, or for being fanatical about something that I'm not as passionate about. What rubbish to think that way. I like your way better.

  6. I've had issues with that whole "agree to disagree" thing, too, because it does feel like you're actually, somehow, agreeing. I can do it with things I don't feel as passionately about (whether a movie's awesome or whatever), but not with the issues that mean So Much to me that I blog about them! So, yeah.

    But I do resonate with the lesson you came away with, about priorities, because I've had to realize that in my own relationships. Some of my friends and relatives have priorities that are entirely different from mine (e.g., making a lot of money), and I can't say I'm right and they're wrong, just that I can see how we've chosen different life journeys because of our priorities. When I realize this, I can take the choices they've made less of a personal attack against my choices or a symbol of their wrongheadedness and realize that we're all very different in how we prioritize and therefore how we follow through. It won't stop me arguing with them in my own head, of course… ;)

  7. This is perfectly said. I have observed how different priorities are for people for a while now. A big on is money, how much does a person want it and how do they spend it.

    My husband has a friend who works up to 20 hrs a DAY (I'm not exaggerating) at two different jobs. He doesn't need both jobs to get by financially, he just has a serious drive to make as much as possible. The mother of his 3 yr old son still lives in Germany because she doesn't want to leave her job there because of the benefits. They had talked of her coming here shortly after their baby was born, but 3 yrs later I haven't heard any definite plans.

    So his priorty is money over being with his kid because he feels providing financially and sending him to a top level boarding school is the best choice. My husband and I completely disagree, but there you go. Different priorties.

  8. Great reflexion! And you know what? I makes total sense. I haven't seen it that way before.


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