It’s OK to not have an opinion about something.
It’s all right to look at a social media post and, even if you disagree virulently with the sentiment, keep your thoughts to yourself.
It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree with pundits and personalities with whom you traditionally align.
What’s best? Sometimes simply listening.
If the start of the 21st century has taught us anything in the United States, it’s that no ideology has all the answers, and adhering to one ideology exclusively is likely to lead to a disaster.
Yet too many of us adhere to the adage that every question has a right and wrong answer, every event that takes place has a winner and a loser, and the side we believe in is wholly correct.
Take our current coronavirus existence. The people who believe the pandemic to be a hoax are ignoring scads of evidence produced by medical and scientific experts. But those same experts have fumbled with some of their own execution of duties, and have further muddled the message with imprecise language, and a reluctance to attempt to correct or clarify inaccurate statements.
We’re not exactly doing well with subtle right now.
We’re also not exactly helping ourselves with our non-stop appetite for news. The question of origin of stories once was a mystery. Why did this one story become a worldwide sensation while the other was ignored?
Yet the one thing that’s a constant for most of us is some kind of input for news. We carry news with us, and can’t resist checking. We’re living evidence of why some stories get attention and others do not. Yet we remain blind to the obvious.
We are all the media, and every remark we make on social media adds to the non-stop cacophony.
What’s the answer? A good place to start might be with tone. Tone is important, however much we think it might dilute our message. Starting a discussion with an angry and provocative opener doesn’t give much room for a response besides a level five reaction.
In too many ways, our arguments are exercises in talking to ourselves. How can we convince anyone to come to the other side or even move toward the other side when a conversation starts with an unwillingness on the part of either side to listen?
One faction winning doesn’t by definition have to mean the other is losing.
An editorial from The Pantagraph, Illinois.