What is the one thing that everyone has and everyone has a right to but is sometimes forced on others?
If you guessed ‘an opinion’ you’d be 100% correct.
I’ve noticed in this day of easy internet access by anyone with a phone, tablet or computer that more and more of these opinions are being shared (or forced upon us) through the avenue of social media and blogging.
Don’t get me wrong.
Having an opinion is not a bad thing at all to have.
What is really beginning to get under my skin though is the number of people with opinions who refuse to accept that there may be others out there who disagree with them.
Only yesterday, I was reading a post on a blog that I visited after a reblog by one someone. In this post, the blogger had put forward her opinion on something that is dear to her and defended her right to her opinion in the face of disagreement and opposition from many of the commenters. That is her right of course and she is entitled to do so. However when a person said to her (after much to-ing and fro-ing of opposing ideas) “I see that nothing I say is going to make you look at this in a different way”, her reply was “Because I am right”.
It was at this point that I closed out of her blog and vowed to not come back again unless it was by accident.
Who knows? Maybe it was the arrogance of youth and a life not yet fully lived that coloured her words. Or maybe it wasn’t.
The thing is, I have lived long enough to learn that every situation or issue in life is multifaceted. It can be approached from different angles. I am not blind enough to overlook the fact that no two people will see things from the same perspective and I would hope that I have taught my children to look at things from the other person’s perspective as well (whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant).
Many of you may have heard the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Each man was led to an elephant and then asked to describe it. The first had the elephant’s trunk and described it as long and thin. The second felt it’s ear and described a fan. The third held a leg and described it as a leathery tree. The fourth had it’s tail and described a rope. And on it went with each man who had hold of different body part of the elephant.
None of these men were wrong. They were all describing the elephant. However, they were describing different aspects of the whole from their own perspective.
I follow many pages on FB and lately I have been becoming very disillusioned and dismayed as I read the comments on some of the stories and status updates that are posted and I have to admit that I worry about the future of our world.
Many comments that I read are narrow-minded, insulting, harsh and quite judgmental. In some cases, judgments are made when none were even asked for! There is no compassion from these commenters (and some of them purport to be friends of the original poster). They see things only from their perspective and then hide behind their keyboards to spew forth their opinions.
If a news service posts a ‘good news’ or ‘fluff’ item then they are lambasted for not reporting the world issues. If they continue to post ‘heavy’ subjects, commenters jump up and down and ask for some good news to lighten the load.
Just yesterday the police service posted a fun status update about the NRL Grand Final to be played that afternoon and people came out of the woodwork condemning them for wasting time and effort to have some fun when they should be out catching criminals!! I mean seriously???
It appears that behind every keyboard is an expert on something. (Or a person that knows how to use a keyboard and thinks they are an expert).
These experts only see in black or white and have no concept of the many shades of grey that lie between those two extremes.
They fight for their right to tell others that it is ‘their way or the highway’ and they ‘shoot down’ in flames anyone who dares them to look at a situation in a different way.
Unfortunately many things in life are not cut and dried. There isn’t any one right way to do everything. Every person has a different belief system that has come about by things that have occurred in their lives. No two people are 100% in agreement on everything.
There are many problems in the world and there are a multitude of ways in which to solve these problems.
I have to admit that I am scared that so many people out there are pushing their opinions and agendas on others as being the only way.
What scares me even more is the lack of tolerance for anyone who dares to question them on their opinions.
Yes, we all have opinions and we are all entitled to share them (as I am doing now) but I think it’s about time that people learned to respect others and realise that everyone is not going to agree with what you have to say and learn to engage in respectful debate.
We may even learn something new about the world by doing so.