Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Responsibility and Respect Part 2

My parents hated bullies and couldn't stand it when others were intolerant to our beliefs or others beliefs. They would stand and support causes that they believed in, but would never tell someone that they are evil for believing what they believe. They always pushed us to get our own opinions about things while giving us their views about topics. I grew up in this household. I was never forced to believe what they believed. I learned respect from my parents. I never belittle anyone, never look at them like they are lesser citizens for believing something. People have different opinions, lifestyles, ethics, moral centers then myself and I'm fine with that. I have never, and I'll never, push my beliefs onto other people.

So why is it that when I give an opinion on social media (cough, cough, Facebook) people suddenly feel it's totally fine to attack, belittle, argue (not debate) what I've said. I have two friends that have very different opinions of things then myself. One have been a best friend of my for a very long time, friend #1. The other is someone I became close to about two years ago friend #2. Friend #1 and I have a great relationship and he will always be counted as a brother in my heart. But we also debate and discuss things all the time because we have such drastically different views. He is a feminist, and I honestly am more of a traditionalist. We disagree on government, sometimes religion doctrine, and many other topics. But we are still the best of friends because at the end of the day we respect each other. There is never any mudslinging or dirty talk, just opinions shared.

However, with friend #2, it's a totally different matter. She and I come from very different backgrounds. I'm highly religious, she isn't at all. I have very conservative views, she is extremely liberal. While I might not agree with everything she say's, I always try to remain respectful of her opinions and ideas. But when it comes to her respecting me and my opinions, she has no ability to share and move on. She has to be right and refuses to let me have my opinion. A recent conversation with her (via facebook, that evil center where people feel they can say whatever they want), I realized that no matter how respectful I am, she will never be. First she must always voice her opinion if she doesn't agree with something that I say or post. While she knows my views and that I will not be changing them, she insists on pushing her own views onto me. On posts about my religion (Mormon), she always posts how she doesn't agree and that I am being either ignorant or stupid because I believe it. Now she would never say that she does that, even when pointed out to her by others. She believes that she has the right to attack my views, while I should just sit back and take it.

Through these two drastically different people, I have learned what it means to debate vs argue. I have learned that there are those that will never respect my opinions, regardless of how respectful I am to them. I have learned that I will not put up with being attacked because I believe something different.

And sadly, I have learned that there are some people in life that will always live in a place of defense and anger.

Has respect disappeared in our society? After recent events, I have decided that YES. It has.

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