I need to start having conversations with people I disagree with. I keep doing this thing where I’ll read or hear something that I consider wrong, and then I’ll keep it fresh in my mind for long enough to share it with my friends that share my opinion. Even within my friends I keep the various circles separate because I don’t want any of them to get their opinions on each other and then start spreading bad vibes. In a word, I’ve become a pussy.
I’m going to have to change that if I want to continue moving forward. I know what I believe, but I keep bending it to allow other people room for their own ideas. Why are we so reverent of the thoughts and ideas of others? Don’t get me wrong, we need them to develop a full picture of the world. But why do I need to allow you your opinion unchallenged? Even when you are, by my standard, wrong? Even the last sentence I used was a product of that mindset. I’m justifying my opinion. And now I’m starting to ramble. If you’re still reading, bless you, because I’m not editing this.
The problem with this conversation and any like it is that we cannot attack an opinion without attacking the individual behind it. I think that’s because we have no respect for each other. If everyone had a little bit of decency, respect, and civility we could all disagree in peace. And now I’ve slipped back into second-person language. Something that, given the nature of the topic, I didn’t want to do. Generalizing accusations like this will just make people recoil from my work. “I don’t perpetrate ad hominem attacks on everyone that voted for Trump, Gerald is a tool”. Go ahead and say it. I’m still not editing.
I just want to be a better person to the people around me. A better citizen to my community. A better father to my children. A better husband to my wife. If I find these faults in anyone, it’s because I have them within myself. I really am a tool. I dehumanize people that have different opinions than me. I group people together to make them easier to deal with. I am the problem.
I’m really going to have to work on this shit.