Opinionated

There is the popular expression that proclaims that opinions are like assholes, in that everyone has one.  The difference is that while everyone has one, they generally don’t feel compelled to share it like they do their opinions.  In today’s day and age of instantaneous information and being connected with the world at large 24/7, opinions are being served up everywhere by everyone in every form imaginable.

When a hot topic, like the recent refusal of a county clerk in a small Kentucky county to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, takes center stage, opinions become absolutely overwhelming and, disturbingly, vicious and malicious in their delivery.  This phenomenon is not limited to this most recent highly publicized issue, either, as the same vitriolic speech being spewed by otherwise seemingly rational human beings can be heard whenever any hotbed issue is broached.  From to race relations to foreign policy, there is not so much of a dialogue that ensues, as much as there is a shouting match between supporters and protesters.  It is deafening.

Somewhere along the way, we have confused passionate support of a cause with hate filled speech being broadcast across social media, print media, and the airways.  We have justified the use of ugly stereotypes, degrading comments, and cruel jokes as a means of presenting the “facts”, and we feel right in doing so, because we believe that we are, in fact, “right”.  We hide behind our right to free speech, our morals and values, our religious beliefs, and our convictions to say and do things to present the “facts” and prove our point that hurt those who disagree with us, because we stand on the side of America, God, our political party, and whatever other entity or organization that we are defending.  We want others to respect and subscribe to our beliefs, because we know that we are right, yet we deny that same respect to others who offer a different point of view.

This is not to say that we should silence our voices or turn a blind eye to the evils and injustices of the world, but rather, we might want to learn to speak articulately, confidently, and kindly without having to degrade or ridicule our perceived opponents.  Speaking loudly and harshly rarely, if ever, changes people’s minds or hearts about an issue, so, who are we posturing for and for what purpose?  Words can hurt or heal, and when we are trying to prove our point or sway the opinion of others, we need to strive for the latter or, at the very least, commit not to doing the former.  Agreeing to disagree is better than widening the chasm between people or fanning the flames of ignorance, hatred, and misunderstanding.  Speak your mind, but mind your speech.  We’re listening.

That’s another story. . .

 

 



Categories: That's Another Story

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15 replies

  1. We need people of passion who can engage in civil discourse. Beautifully written, Kristie Jo!

  2. Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:
    I like these thoughts on opinions and how to voice yours…

  3. I’m not quite sure your opinion on this particular case, but I applaud your words. Everyone is wrong, unless you are right. No one is right, unless they are wrong. Hey, I need to use that in my blog! Oh well, it’s done now. Anytime there as been a change in society we have had this type of fight and outrage. It takes time to heal hearts, and get on track. That is what is happening now. Whether you are for or against gay marriage, the majority rule. It would be awesome, if they could rule without all the cruelty that is thrown along with it. Good words to share, my friend.

    • Thank you for taking the time to share such insightful comments and all of your kind words. I couldn’t agree with you more, and I hope we all can respect each other enough to agree to disagree, instead of spewing hate and intolerance.

  4. I guess you nailed it with that very last sentence… How an opinion is received not only depends on how it’s worded and the tone in which it’s presented but also how well someone is listening to you.

    • Thanks for reading my words and sharing yours! It means a great deal to me when another person understands what I am trying to convey. We definitely live in an opinionated world, and I hope we all become more mindful of how and what we communicate to others, especially those whose views and opinions differ than ours.

  5. Oh, the difference controlling yourself makes.

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