The conversation caused me to reflect on an article I read some weeks ago. It was written by a columnist, David French, who said, “In the real world, not Hollywood, the Left is close-minded.” Born in the South, but attending a conservative, Christian College, followed by a very liberal law school, his article asserts that our country is divided in two: blue and red. Additionally, he maintains that the south is usually more tolerant, and open to discussion on points of disagreement than those who call themselves “liberals who want tolerance of everyone and everything!” It seems the “liberals” are the ones least tolerant, despite their rhetoric. He sited all kinds of personally experienced evidence.
He shared the story of a college experience in the South where dissension was encouraged. The discussion was soundly debated, with differing opinions holding strong. Those involved in the debate could walk away with at least a sense of “the other side,” even if they didn’t agree. Yet no one screamed out in outrage, degrading material and pictures weren’t posted throughout the campus on dissenting students, no jobs offers were canceled, and in general after the discussion, students treated each other with respect. In the North, however, when dissension was conveyed in a college classroom, conservative students experienced the horrible displays of anger mentioned earlier! It struck the author as odd, since those behaviors, were not demonstrated in the exact same circumstance in the South!
What does this say about our culture? It shows a world who is divided into “my way, or the highway!” There doesn’t seem to be an area of middle ground. The idea of discussion, without total agreement, isn’t possible——at least in some areas of the country—- or with some mindsets!
I remember during the latest Presidential election, where it caused trepidation to even share your opinions about the candidates unless you were talking positive in public, about the Democratic party! Why???? I don’t get it! We are supposed to be a nation of differing opinions encouraged...... of discussion and mediation, not hostility and nastiness
I encourage you to reflect on your feelings when someone disagrees with your opinions. Do you immediately become defensive, and counter offensively? Can you listen, not only with your ears but with your heart, to try to gain understanding (even if you still do not agree) to the opposing view? Opinions voiced with hostility have a way of destroying relationships and trust. Understanding —and agreeing to disagree — without reprisal is the way keep our personal relationships in tact, as well as, within our community, state…..and even within our nation.