Wednesday, June 28, 2017

42914 :: We Don't Have to Agree

Sometimes we don't agree with each other. That's OK with me. What's not OK with me is when someone assumes that I therefore hate them or feel compelled to change them to my way of thinking. What I do wish is that people would afford each other the same courtesy and respect that they desire for themselves: the right to their own opinion.


More likely than not, when you run into someone who disagrees with you, they are not looking to string you up. It's OK if they are vocal in explaining why they feel the way they feel. Dialogue is necessary to understanding each other. If you are so threatened about the opinion someone has, you might do well to examine why you feel threatened. Sometimes, it can be because you are not confident that you have made the right choice and are afraid that changing your mind will make you the loser.

The only losers are people who turn their backs on another human being without giving them the respect they deserve as a fellow human being.

It is no secret that I hate labels. Labels only mean something when there is a standard, like "100% Fruit Juice, no added sugar." When we slap a label of "Christian" or "gay" or "[insert your political party here]" on someone, those labels are far less standardized and come with lots of stereotypes and misconceptions on the part of the label-er or the person being labeled. Not to mention those labels represent only a fraction of what makes that person who he/she is. Unlike a juice box, no one is 100% any label we can think of sticking on them. And I guarantee that there is no person on this planet with whom you are going to agree 100% on any given topic.

When we can have an open, honest discussion about feelings and opinions, there is no place for labels or name-calling. There IS a place for saying, "Well, I don't quite agree with your choice / conclusion / opinion." Past that, name calling, shaming, belittling, or intimidation have no place in a civil discussion. We have enough other things to discuss... why not focus on what we have in common instead of our differences. We need to stop defining people by their "other-ness."