I respect that everyone has a right to an opinion. What I don’t respect however is when a person deems that their opinion is of more importance to that of another and they become rude about it.
Unfortunately I am seeing this more and more in this age of instant gratification, social media and world news.
We have become a society where respect appears to be a long-forgotten word in the dictionary.
My opinions on many things may be far different to those of you who are reading this however I’m not about to say “Hey. You’re wrong!!”
And I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to call you names because of it. Yet, I see this time and again.
It’s seems to me that nothing is sacred in this day and age and everyone has an opinion about it. Whether it be politics, lifestyle choices, income, personal appearance, religion, parenting, employment, pet ownership and responsibility or even snake identification (Yes. You read that right), nothing is off limits to opinion and name calling.
I want to shake my head and walk away from it all.
In the past few days, I have seen too many instances of this occurring both in social media and even in the conventional press.
Long gone are the days when the media were unbiased reporters of local and world events and that is how we knew what was going on in the world. These days, we can know what is happening on the other side of the world at the same time as it is occurring. We can form our opinions quite well without a reporter telling us what we need to think (although they still try to do that).
Nobody in this world is the same. We may share similar traits or values but we are all inherently different. Difference is what makes us unique.
Why then, do people feel the need to belittle those who think and believe differently to them? Everyone was created equal were they not?
What then gives a stranger the right to criticise someone they know absolutely nothing about?
As an example, in the past week, I have seen complete strangers (people such as you and me) mock and pass comment about celebrities on a social media site created for a reality television show.
I have read judgements and criticisms on the weight, income, past life choices (as reported either correctly or incorrectly on the internet and in the press), appearance, religion, topics of conversation and personalities of those celebrities involved in the show.
a) Knowing these people personally,
b) Not having had the same or similar personal experiences, and
c) Not taking into consideration that a television show is heavily edited to show the public only what the producers believe will create ratings.
Many of the things that I have read are downright hurtful and the discussions often become a platform for the commenter’s personal point of view.
However, sadly this is something I see across most of social media.
I have come to the conclusion that (please note that this is written with my tongue firmly in my cheek):
- All who believe in God or a Higher Power are deluded and are brainwashed by fairy tales
- Those who are Atheists are on to a good thing and have to tell everyone just how great they are
- Any female who is overweight, should ALWAYS wear a bra
- Those who are fat have no-one to blame but themselves and their gluttony
- All those who follow the Moslem faith are terrorists
- All Christians are just as bad
- We should continue apologising and making good for the abominable acts of our ancient ancestors
- Only minority groups have the right to be offended and protest
- Those in the majority are not allowed to have opinions
- No animals should be used in the making of television shows and movies without asking them first how they feel about it
- Anyone who eats meat (and heaven-forbid bacon) are murderers
- Women have no rights over their own bodies
- Men apparently have the right to choose to do whatever they want
- Women should never wear white when it’s ‘that time of the month’ or they’re asking for it
- If you’re going to pray, do it somewhere where other people can’t see you
- If you need to go to a toilet, just don’t go in the same one as everyone else
- If you want to know what sort of snake you just found, don’t post it on social media
- If you’re going to let off fireworks, door-knock every house within a 20km radius and tell them to lock their dogs up
- All people receiving government financial assistance are good-for-nothings
- If you immunise your child, you obviously don’t love them
- Parents should have eyes in the back of their heads and supervise their children and teens 24/7
- When someone does something wrong, it’s the fault of their upbringing
- I have no need to take personal responsibility for anything that I do or say
As I said, we all have opinions. These opinions are influenced by many things including our life experiences and values. Just because I believe something, doesn’t make it any less right than what you believe. We may be looking at the same issue from different angles.
I’ve always said that there are three sides to every story – yours, mine and the truth.
I have been disappointed to read FB posts from friends asking that other friends respect their words and if they disagree then please do so without belittling them.
It should have to come to this.
We are all created exactly the same.
We are all children of the Universe (no less than the trees and the stars).
We should love one another.
If we want the world at large to change, we have to begin with ourselves.
As Aretha sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
That’s what the world needs right now.