Heather from TopBlog Magazine gave a few of us writers this assignment:

…This is your invite to write something for the next issue. The theme is “I don’t subscribe to…” but don’t use that as your title…

I scribbled down a few ideas that popped into my head. For my own use, I left the “don’t subscribe to” as my jumping off point just to get going. I’d come up with titles later.

Here are some of the unedited ideas I didn’t go with:

I don’t subscribe to labeling. We live in a world where labels are used as a shorthand way of thinking we grasp the gist of who people are without having to do the hard work of really getting to know them. When, really, it has more to do with how we’ve been trained to make snap judgments about everything and everyone before all the evidence is in. And that’s the problem. Words that have been used to label me are Republican, Democrat, stubborn, easy-going, religious, heathen, conservative, liberal, introvert, extrovert… You get the idea. The fact is that none of these words are true about me; they are only someone else’s limited (and incorrect) perception.

I didn’t go with that one because it was heading into a Psych 101 class.

I don’t subscribe to proselytizing of any kind, but most especially the religious kind. In fact, I’m so allergic to anyone who tries to proselytize that, for health reasons, I have to ask them to leave immediately. Can you think of anything more arrogant and obnoxious than said proselytizer assuming you haven’t thought as deeply and carefully about your spiritual path as he or she has about theirs? People who are successful at influencing others do so by leading by example, not by banging people over the head with their beliefs.

I didn’t go with that one because I’m not interested in opening up a debate with religious fundamentalists, etc.

I don’t subscribe to That’s the way it’s always been done. Actually, I don’t subscribe to anything that encourages sleep walking through life instead of paying attention, continually keeping an open mind while learning, and thinking things through for yourself.

I didn’t go with that one because it was heading toward a rant.

I don’t subscribe to the tug-of-war going on in the dog training world. Have you chosen your side? The side between the alpha wanna-be’s group (the old-fashioned punitive types) and the your dog never makes a bad choice, you are just a bad trainer group (the violently positive types)? I subscribe to relationship-based training that is founded on trust-building and excellent communication; training that gives both yes, that’s right and no, that’s not what I was looking for information — without the need for alpha rolls, ear pinching, chain popping or surgically implanting a clicker into my hand while turning me into not much more than a treat dispensing machine.

I didn’t go with that one because TopBlog Magazine is not a dog-training magazine.

To read what I finally went with, click here.

What don’t you subscribe to?