Are you having trouble discussing today’s social issues with your neighbors or friend without being called names or a conspiracy theorist? If we are united we will stand, if divided we fall.
Do you have strong opinions about today’s social issues? Do you research what you hear from the news media or do you just take it for gospel and share but people are not receptive to hearing what you have to say?
I have had the same experience just this week when I made an innocent comment on our neighborhood community platform about mask and vaccine mandates. I was blown away by the unwillingness and downright refusal of the people commenting to even be curious as to why I believed the way I do.
The people who contributed to the conversation were either wanting to force everyone to take the vaccine and wear a mask or just choose to stay home and lose all of their privileges to shop or travel outside California. Most of the contributors were not willing to discuss any of the topics without judgment or name-calling.
I was upset and just wanted to leave the conversation until I realized I was doing the same thing.
I was taking their comments personally and not taking into consideration that each person was experiencing fear about the people who refuse the vaccine, how and the mask mandates would affect our community was based on the sources they follow on social media and the news they watch.
When I realized where they were coming from I had newfound compassion for them because most of their decisions were based on fear and not on science or facts. I decided to do an experiment – I type in any headline I see on the internet that does not go along with the belief of the majority it is marked by a fact-checker and labeled as false information. Many people who had social media channels on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter were shut down because it was considered a danger to the public.
I am happy to say there are some people who are still participating in the conversation and doing so with understanding and respect.
I encourage you the next time you have a conversation in person, on social media, or on your neighborhood forum please take into consideration that people are afraid before you post. I know when I am afraid or feel like my beliefs and values are being challenged my first response is to lash out but that does not serve or bring value to anyone. I found it is better to let them know that I will agree that we disagree on this topic and choose to part as friends.
Just consider that there may be people or factions whose only purpose is to divide our community and its people. we may still disagree on some issues but does but we can agree to be respectful of each other and our opinions.
“We have a war on women, race wars. Income wars, age wars, religious wars, anything you can imagine. A house divided against itself cannot stand it. And it’s going to be up to us, to people, to begin the focus on the positive things, on the things that we have in common and stop listening to those who are stoking the fires of division.” ~ Benjamin Carson
Please contact me if you would like to discuss this article I would be dialogue with you.