"Your blog is refreshing because you're not afraid to just write what you think. A lot of people might think that some of the stuff you write is kind of...controversial." That's what Sam told me.
And since he did, I might infer that Sam doesn't agree with all of my viewpoints. Yet he, somehow, can appreciate the fact that a person has viewpoints, even if he doesn't always agree with them. That someone is for something, rather than against everything, which Republicans seem to be nowadays. I think it just illustrates that the out of favor political party always realizes that this is a never-ending struggle between two centers of power, and even when you lose, you can just bide your time until you are once again in power. And only when in power can a party actually try to ram through whatever it thinks it has the best shot at getting gone.
When out of power, the best a party can do is keep the other party from accomplishing anything. ANYTHING. If it's disastrous for the country, then obviously it would be opposed. And if it's great for the country, then it would be opposed - why would one party do anything to help the other party get re-elected next time around?
Anyway, that was a digression. The point is, Sam could be a musician, a scientist, a man of God, or whatever he wants to be. But rather than choose just one to the exclusion of all others, he has chosen all of them at one time or another. And rather than cling to his personal views or beliefs or values as the only truly valid ones, he recognizes that there are others out there; but then, he goes beyond the point where most would venture: he actively seeks out the differing perspectives and tries to make sense of them, or at least to understand from where the other idea originates.
I think the best part of conversing with him is that, when you say something he obviously doesn't, or couldn't, agree with, he doesn't argue or debate. He pauses, then says something like, "that's interesting," and then an actual discussion can ensue, which is so much more enjoyable than debates or arguments!
That's what I call refreshing.