Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Respectfully Disagree

I've never been one for confrontation and conflict. My family and friends can attest to this. I tend to clam up and hold things inside when I am directly or emotionally affected. (Not very healthy, because I finally explode in tears.) However, when asked to mediate between others - or (when I'm forced to) on my own behalf - I try to be very careful and deliberate with my words and intonations. The less conflict the better. I want everyone to feel that they have been heard.  Really listened to - and with dignity. It upsets me greatly when I feel others are more interested in making sure that their point is the only one that matters. They yell. They curse. They mock. They belittle the others person's opinions and life's experiences.

I find that happens more and more in this age of social media. We live in a world where not only can we write an initial post or article, but the rest of humanity can comment and even battle back and forth between themselves. One time I posted something on my own Facebook page and two friends who don't even know each other battled back and forth for what seemed hours. Neither one wanted to listen to the other. Their conversation was smattered with snide comments and innuendos as to the other's intelligence and moral fortitude. It was like hosting a dinner party where two belligerent guests had overstayed their welcome and would not leave. I finally had to politely ask them to stop.

These past two weeks have provided much to show the divisions and differences in opinion in our country. And the comments and posts from friends showed the passion, and sometimes mean-spiritedness, from both sides. 

I too got involved and shared my excitement of the Confederate BATTLE Flag coming down in my state. Goosebumps abounded as my husband and sons watched it live on television.

I consider myself a conservative (See, you can't lump us all together in our views!) and follow the website/blog Chicks on the Right. They also agreed that the flag should be removed from our State House grounds. After reading some of the comments that strongly and rudely disagreed, I felt the need to share my own views. You can see my exchanges with two other readers that ensued and the lessons learned...

Politeness Lesson Number 1: If they pick up that you won't get hostile, they will drop the conversation.

Politeness Lesson Number 2: Someone who strongly disagrees with you can honor your views. (You might also make a friend.)

And so I thank you for listening!

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