I am going to state my opinion here, and if you don’t like it you can a) hate me for it, or b) rebut it with something that has nothing to do with that I was originally saying.
It seems to me that people have been slowly losing their capacity to think and reason. They act on whims and without analyzing the situation, doing whatever is necessary to prove they’re right.
Example: Suppose you and your friend have been buddies for years; you agree on practically everything. Then one day, you two have a disagreement. Suddenly the years of friendship go down the drain, and instead of disliking the opinion of the person, you dislike them. You insult them for having that opinion and call them an ass.
You need to analyze the situation. Does someone’s opinion totally make up who that person is? Even if the opinion is of importance, is one opinion worth throwing away a relationship with that person? No, it’s not. Instead make amends and if need be, agree to disagree, but do not hate the person just because they believe in something that you feel is wrong.
Some of you are going to give me some ridiculous pseudo-intellectual dribble to the effect of: “But opinions are a reflection of who a person is!” No. They are opinions, they are not behavior; you can bash my opinions all you want, disagree with them and say they’re incorrect, but you have no right to bash who I am because we disagree. With that response, you’re saying that because you disagree with me on a certain subject it completely makes me an ass, or ignorant?
Also, if you call someone out on their behavior, telling them you disagree with a certain aspect of how they have been acting, chances are they’ll justify their position with points that have nothing to do with what you originally spoke about. Suppose you tell a friend you feel he is being arrogant, he’ll only respond with tales of how he gives to charity, helps the homeless, saves kittens and gives enough blood to make the Red Cross blush. Funny thing is, he’s still arrogant.
If someone disagrees with you, think about it and don’t let one disagreement lodge a spike between you; if someone calls you out on your behavior, instead of automatically trying to justify your position, be open minded and think about what they said. Let us, as a whole, think more, and appreciate the diversity of thought, rather than become defensive and hateful.
Jovanni Bello can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.