Thursday, November 03, 2016

Friends

   What was originally going to be a post about how no matter how you vote or what you post, you can count on me not unfriending you gradually morphed into much more thought over the last week - longer now, as this post has been in the works for a while. I understand the temptation to block or unfriend someone when they post something that infuriates you or you seriously disagree with, but what does that accomplish (besides lowering your blood pressure)? It isolates you with people who think like you do, agree with what you think, and make you complacent. Without reading anything that goes outside your worldview, you don't grow, you don't expand you horizons, and no offense to some, but you brain rots. So that's my view on those that post that "of you don't agree, feel free to unfriend me."
   After I thought on those sentiments for a while, I engaged in some back and forth Facebook comments regarding a friend's posts that I took issue with.  Kudos to Steve Miller (TX), as he and I can always have civilized discussions regarding the facts as we see them and generally can come to agreement in what is actually fact and what may be speculation.  It helped me realize again that if two people often on the opposite sides of the spectrum can civilly discuss politics and open each others eyes in ways that we probably wouldn't view on our own, that just reinforces my thoughts above.  Those comments calm my irritation and frustration at what he and others post. That could also be accomplished by eliminating them from my feed, but I would lose valuable input that expands my view.
   Which brings me to my final point.  I have been hesitant to post much involving politics for fear of insulting or offending my conservative friends.  That also does them a disservice.  Some may get offended, some may get angry, some may even cut ties, but that isn't on me.  If they can't engage in the conversation, make and backup their points, or have a thick enough skin to take what I have to say with a grain of salt but also think about it, that's their loss.  Civil discussions and discourse is a civic duty of us all.  Being an informed voter is your responsibility.  If you only get information from friends and news sources that affirm your beliefs and ignore those that don't, YOU are part of the problem.  Go to the sources of info, do your research, and engage others on their views; that's all I ask.
   For those that took my earlier post on Facebook as me switching parties or political views, sorry to disappoint.  ;)

2 comments:

Byron Cate said...

Well said! Too many people just can't avoid insulting others when they "respond." Also, some people are so sensitive, they FEEL insulted when they shouldn't. Thus, we should all respond thoughtfully, not hastily, angrily or righteously. Hard to do sometimes, I know!

Steve Bluford said...

Agree Hans! I belive that civility (and gasp... even friendship) with people who think differently is key to a cohesive working society. In fact, I have been surprised to find there is a lot to like about someone even when they might not agree with me on on everything, but they respect me and my right to do so. I usually only have to draw the line when someone begins to lump groups of people they don't know into categories and then espouses hateful rhetoric or degrades them when they are doing nothing illegal, immoral, or wrong.

However, If you are doing something illegal, unethical, or hateful... you won't be my friend (anywhere), and we will likely have issues if we interact.