free·dom of speech
- the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and an amendment I just happen to believe in. While I do feel that every person has the right to speak and express their opinions, I DON’T believe that same person has the right to bash others and debase them simply because they don’t share the same beliefs. We live in the age of technology where people can sit at their computers and pound away on their keyboards saying things to others that has me wondering if they would say those same things if face to face in a room where they were asked to conduct a debate. And if they could, would it be a healthy debate, or would they continue to spit out hateful words and belittling comments?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy debate, a difference of opinions, as long as it’s done diplomatically. Healthy debates are good, and can also be extremely productive. I love engaging in such conversations. But there’s nothing more frustrating than to try to have the same discussion with someone who can’t see beyond their own noses, who don’t want to hear the other persons side, or ask why they believe the way they do, who think that their ways are the only ways and their beliefs are the only ones that matter. This type of conversation will, without doubt, result in anger, name-calling, cussing, and possibly a dissolution or separation of a friendship.
I see it every single day on Facebook. I have talked to people who have said things like, “I really want to comment on that, but it’s probably best that I don’t.” Why not? You have just as much of a right to speak your mind as anyone else does. And let me tell you something people. If your differences of opinions result in a friendship or relationship ending, I would really have to question the strength of that relationship in the first place!
The biggest debate that continues on day after day….Trump. Before you start wanting to jump all over me (and feel free to do so if that’s what floats your boat – or we can debate, healthily), let me put this out there. I never was a Trump supporter – nor was I a Clinton supporter. I’ve had many debates with a number of people over why I feel the way I do. And you know what? The debates were always healthy ones – just like they should be. But I’ve not had anyone disown me over it, or throw me to the wolves because of it, or end a friendship because of it. Not only is that asinine, it’s just plain childish! While I’ll admit that it is a little annoying to see people continuously bashing him and posting fake news articles about him, it is their right to do so as an American. But I will NOT do that, nor will I call you “a special kind of stupid,” like I was called, nor will I debase you or threaten you or call you names. I also don’t let remarks like that get under my skin, because (1) I happen to know for a fact that I am NOT stupid; and (2) retaliation accomplishes nothing but bringing you more problems, more anger, more hurtful words, more arguments, and so on. It becomes a never-ending cycle of hatred and despise.
Try having a healthy debate with someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you. LISTEN to what that person has to say. Don’t knock them down and not allow them to get back up. I’m not just talking about a political conversation. It can be about anything that interests you, a topic you feel strongly about. Let someone bend your ear – you never know what you might just learn.
Until next time….
Take care and God Bless!!!