Today our society has a problem with tolerance. Remember that word? Tolerance… a word that became quite popular and widely used a number of years ago? Well, where is the tolerance today?
After my last post about Biden and Trump, I was FB de-friended within minutes by a person well-known to me. But take note – my feelings are not hurt. I shed no tears. And I have no thought about calling or writing to beg forgiveness. When you base your life on a set of principles, you need to be willing to count the cost. Probably this person has the same thought. But, here’s my question to the one who de-friended me and I ask the same to those who have de-friended, ostracized, and rejected others:
How does my personal opinion hurt or damage your life?
That’s the question, but as I think through this issue, I say that differing perspectives should not hinder relationships, whether family or friends. What we believe and our resultant opinions are a part of who we are as individuals, but only a part. As human beings we are created with much more. We are a product of our collective life experiences, our education, our environment, and our daily interactions with others. Thoughts and opinions should be considered as only a part of the totality of a unique individual.
Concerning information, all of us filter what we allow into our lives and rightfully so. It’s only natural that we seek out media sources that inform and reinforce our personal perspective on matters of importance. As for me, I give equal distrust to all media sources, preferring to watch/listen to multiple outlets, then synthesize, and come to my own conclusions.
Socially, we tend to build our closest relationships around a common set of core values and shared experiences. Family and friend relationships are at the heart of this, but on some occasions it’s easy to allow our thoughts about the perspective of a person to taint our view of the actual person.
So then, where are we headed as a society? In an day of strong opinion, there is a clear division between left and right, Democrat and Republican, and Biden and Trump supporters. However, the damage being done to relationships can be long-lasting and difficult to overcome.
Note to the one who de-friended me yesterday: Hey, send me a friend request and I’ll gladly accept – with no questions asked!
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2021
(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)