I've changed over the last few years, perhaps even grown. Of course this is what we're supposed to do... isn't it?
Re-acclimating to the Western world, and seeing friends for the first time in close to two years, highlighted a few shifts for me. One of the big ones is my growing ability to not give a shit. I consider this a positive shift. I still have an opinion on American politics, I just don't care about it. I'll vote and have my discussions but, as long as you don't spout the virtues of Communism, my heart-rate is unlikely to change. I'm not a fan of Obama, but we could do worse... a lot worse. Almost every one of the nine countries to stamp my passport in the last two years have managed this small accomplishment in stellar fashion. Seeing the same political ideological discussions carried out across the American landscape, as in the past, is no surprise, seeing the exploding emotion behind it is.
I won't drop the "can't we all just get along" bomb, but I will ask why do we all care so much? The difference between socialism and capitalism, liberal and conservative, is significant. Having an opinion on these things, to some extent, is important. Giving those who disagree with you the ability to influence your emotions isn't. I have little respect for any elected/appointed official in Washington or Sacramento. I'm sure they are mostly nice people, at times intelligent, and nearly always fail in the most important of their tasks, DON'T SCREW THINGS UP! Giving politicians and politics the power to influence my emotions, friendships, and life in general, regardless my affiliations, makes me a moron unable to see life for what it is.
This Honey Badger approach to life, one in which the phrase "I don't give a (insert favored profanity here)" governs most responses, extends beyond politics. Though ultimate salvation was never in the balance, I used to care about the theological differences between Catholics, Evangelicals, Charismatics, etc. Not so much any more. I'm a Vineyard guy, probably always will be, but the differences between my tradition, or lack thereof, and that of Catholics is mostly insignificant. Why do I say this? Because as a christian I care about the gospel, loving God, and loving others, as do the major precepts of most Christian traditions... Catholics included (not that it hasn't been corrupted in a few cultures, but having spent a lot of time in Africa, this can be said of most traditions).
I guess the change is this, I still believe most of the stuff I always believed, like the Chargers being the greatest football team in the NFL, I'm just not going to trash my energy on them. Only a few things in life truly matter. The sooner we figure these out, and invest our emotions and energy in them, the greater value our lives will be.