Liberal! It's a word that's tossed around a lot these days. And it's a label assigned to me by many.
Should I embrace it or define myself?
As one of my sisters said long ago, I'll only wear sensible shoes. No heels for me. I will dress conservatively. Nothing provocative for me. I'm frugal with money. Nothing extravagant for me. I have no need for fancy cars, fancy hair do's, or fancy clothes. Mink coats and BMW's are not my style. I don't need a big title or a big bank account. I don't need a big house. I'm not impressed by riches and material things. It seems to me, conservatives are impressed by these things.
Am I liberal? I guess I'm liberal about taking risks about people. I'm liberal about inclusivity. I'm liberal about service to others. I'm liberal in believing if I have enough, I then have plenty to share. I'm liberal in believing that what I share will return to me in dividends, not in material things but in something that matters more. I'm liberal in trust and belief.
I've been wrong. I've trusted and believed and been treated badly in return. I've been "taken" from and I've had kindness met with rebuff. I've offered empathy and had something other returned.
Ahh but those many, many times I've been right were so much sweeter! And they so outnumber those other times that it's those dividends that matter to me. I have also offered gifts without expectation to know the outcome. Those dividends don't show up in a bank account or in any material way but I know them. My spirit knows them. Those dividends count where it matters most.
I am liberal in my risk of trust and belief in better outcomes for people. I am liberal in spirit. I will continue to believe. I will continue to seek a path of better outcomes for all - even the least of these. I don't need much for myself. In that way, I am conservative. In being conservative, I find I have plenty. As I have plenty, I have much to liberally share. That's how I plan to be. So, liberal it is. No, I'm conservative so I can be liberal in spirit. It is in spirit, I give.