I am beginning to avoid reading anything from the news to social media these days. Everywhere I turn, someone is tearing down someone else. It’s bad enough when it’s people that I do not know, but when life long friends take to social media to bash other life long friends (either openly or passively), I cringe. I’m not going to weigh in on the “controversy du jour”. It really doesn’t matter what the issue is or is not. The reason changes weekly if not daily, but the voices, the criticism, the anger never change. I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that there are some who are just angry and need to have something or someone on which to focus that anger.
I believe in free speech. I believe in candor and honesty. I also believe that a little tact goes a long, long way to promote the unity of opposing sides. I enjoy a healthy debate. I think discussions are pivotal to a healthy community and world. But, mud-slinging and name calling are not be part of it. Social media does very little to foster productive discussions and usually just fans the flames of both sides. My opinion may not matter to you, but it does to me. I have been known to adjust my views when presented with a calm and rational argument. Continuous bashing and belittling of others’ convictions or opinions (right or wrong) are perceived as anything but calm or rational. I had a supervisor who mentored me in my younger days to pick my battles carefully. I learned to take a deep breathe and step away for a bit to collect my thoughts BEFORE I bulldozed through the issue. I discovered that I usually got much better acceptance and cooperation this way and the outcome was often what I wanted in the beginning. The path to get there was just a little different.
So, take a breathe. Calm down. Anger is debilitating to the bearer and often counter-productive. As many old grandpappies have said, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”