Sticks and Stones

There is nothing wrong with a heated discussion. Sometimes, I even encourage it.

meme1I arrived home late last night and checked my phone after taking a deep breath; trying to relax.  I noticed a Facebook meme that had been posted that compared how a white man that killed nine people (Charleston, SC) being quietly arrested to a black man selling cigarettes in New York being wrestled to the ground with a choke hold by five officers.  First of all, I would like to send my condolences and prayers to the families of the victims involved in the mass church shooting in Charleston, SC.  My words and thoughts must be so feeble and week in trying to say, “I’m sorry for your loss.”  I cannot possibly imagine. The racial discussion has already begun pertaining to the shooting; however I am not ready to post on that subject today.  I need more information and we all need more time to mourn.  I did, however, have plenty to say regarding the meme.

I commented on the meme, and it didn’t take long for a good friend of mine to join in.  We did not necessarily agree on the validity or the relevance of the statement being made through the meme.  Fair enough.  We sarcastically downplayed each other and eventually made our points.  During this process, he sent me a private message reassuring me that he respected me as a person and respected my view points, but that we simply didn’t see eye to eye.  It made me feel good, and I responded in a similar fashion.

I find this to be a rare occurrence.  A lot of people that join in on political or worldly discussions have absolutely no respect for anyone who disagrees with them.  Of course, it’s easy hiding safely behind your computer screen.   I consider myself to be a conservative, and many of my close friends have liberal tendencies and ideologies.  I’m perfectly fine with it; but I can’t help but notice that I usually get into discussions and arguments with the same handful of gentleman every time.  I actually applaud them.  I respect the fact that they are willing to voice their opinion for the social media world to see and then defend their statements.  I think they may have the same respect for me as well; in theory anyways.  How boring would it be to discuss events and issues with people that do nothing but agree with you?  You wouldn’t learn much and not much growth is going to come out of the conversation.

The real question for me is why are not more people involved?  There are events taking place and issues on the table that will change and shape the way we live our live for the next several decades.  I understand not everyone is passionate about world events and politics.  I get it.  But I truly believe that political correctness has come to play a large role in a lot of people’s silence.

No one wants to be called a racist.  No one wants to be called a bigot.  It doesn’t feel good to be strapped with those labels.  I think a lot of people are borderline afraid to get involved in discussions to avoid being called such things.  I personally don’t care.  If I say, “You know Bill, I think marriage is between a man and a woman,” the “bigot” label usually follows quickly.  If I think President Obama has a horrible idea pertaining to an issue and speak out against it, it is not rare to think my beliefs are racially motivated; according to some.  The problem people have with me is I simply don’t care.  I don’t care if you call me a bigot, a homophobe, a racist, or a teabagger; it does not affect me personally.  In fact, it usually works in my favor; allowing me to see where the other person stands quickly.

Sometimes these things are going to come out.  I’ve been called an idiot and moron and I’ve called people the same.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  When a person is insanely passionate about a particular issue, it is very difficult for that person to constantly remain calm when dealing with opposing views on that issue.  So, occasionally we type and say things that aren’t quite professional.  Honestly, I love it.  A lot of good can come out of conflict.  Sometimes a heated discussion is the only type to have depending on the issue at hand.  I don’t mind some finger pointing or name calling as long as the heart of the discussion isn’t forgotten.  And, if you take time to listen, you might actually learn something.  One close friend of mine who is a diehard liberal is now insanely pro-life; which he attributes to our many conversations.  I use to laugh at solar energy; now I feel like one of its biggest proponents.

I simply appreciate good people being true to themselves; even if I vehemently disagree with them.  Let’s keep it in perspective.  The gentleman that disagrees with you on climate change probably isn’t raping, killing, or stealing; he’s just disagreeing with you on a topic.  Scouring social media I find more and more of a divide between people that disagree than ever before: politically, racially, and religiously.  We continue to create a divide amongst ourselves which plays perfectly into the hands of the mainstream media and our elected officials.  We should be joining forces to fight the same fight: term limits, corruption, fraud, and abuse of power.  We should be fighting to build people up; not bring people down.  A revival of the American dream WILL NOT stem from your elected officials; it will originate with the citizenry if we stand up for our rights together.  A good place to start is talking and typing.

Do not let fear quiet your voice.  Do not let political correctness control what you say.  Remember being taught about “sticks and stones” as a small child?  Well, you’re an adult now.  It’s time to apply that education to real world scenarios.  You can be extremely passionate about something and still respect those that disagree with you.  And you know what?  Once in a while you will probably say something that you wish you hadn’t.  If you talk enough, occasionally you’ll say something based on emotions instead of factual evidence.  So what?  It’s normal.  It’s human.  Get out there and say what is on your mind, regardless of whether it is acceptable to say or not.  I would have a lot more respect for President Obama if he just simply said, “I don’t like America the way it was founded.”  Good.  Great.  Grand.  At least we know where he stands; and we can move forward from there.  Do not be afraid to voice your opinion or to be true to yourself.  If people can’t handle that, then they are the one with the issue; not you.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it many more times; I would rather be offended instead of asking someone to surrender their right to free speech.  We’re adults.  Let’s act like it.

Remember, while you are not speaking your mind, someone else is.  Someone is talking to your kids, your friends, and your acquaintances; convincing them of things that you may not agree with.  Get in on the conversation.  You know what?  You might actually have a little fun with it too.  We can easily all respect each other and disagree with each other simultaneously; it’s not that hard.  If someone can only offer bashing and ridicule to your ideas, then they probably are not worth worrying about.  Agree?  Disagree?  Please comment below and we’ll box it out.  Now go out there and enjoy your weekend.  I’ll see you back here next week at The Taylor Machine.  That’s goes for you too, you crazy libtards.



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