Opinions And Assholes
If only we could glance away from our self-centered distractions and the constant battle of being “right!” The price we are paying for these harsh battles comes at the expense of the relationships we value most. We judge the integrity and character of others by “their” opinions. How about we take an honest and introspective look in the mirror and check our motives instead. Are they intended to prove yourself right or just to be an asshole?
I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind. My tone of voice sounds confrontational at times, but my motives are sincere. I’ve encountered an increase of difficult individuals who attribute their contempt and lack of accountability to anxiety and hurt feelings. Is that the reason though? Is it possible that a lack of motivation and coping skills are missing? Skills which enable the ability to adapt to the harsh world we live in? Perhaps easing back on hyper sensitivity can avoid turning simple misunderstandings or conversations into division and discord. Maybe the soap boxes are getting taller. Rather than taking a leap of faith while jumping down, we are afraid of what we are jumping into and we climb higher, above all else.
I’ve experienced unequivocal dismission as a result of “perceived judgement and differing opinions” by long-time friends and family members defending a point of view while dismissing people who share a differing point of view. What happened to strong minded, thick skinned, independent young adults who make realistic goals for their lives instead of excuses? What happened to create a world where parents raise kids to be their BFF’s instead of teaching them to respect authority and fear consequences?
Incessant coddling and no accountability are doing damage to kids, which carries over into adulthood and the world. Coddling is like a Band-Aid on an open wound. It’s necessary for protection during a critical time. Removing the Band-Aid is necessary for a scab and scar so the wound can heal itself. To leave the Band-Aid leaves the wound open and creates bigger problems than the original injury. Much like the Band-Aid, coddling prevents toughening of the skin and leaves an unhealed wound in the soul. The result? Easily offended people with “thin” skin and no coping skills for the harsh reality of the real world.
After moving out of my parents’ house about four million times, they clarified it would be my last time moving out. I was 22 and thought they were bluffing. They were not. Guess what happened next? I threw the Band-Aid in the trash, and I took responsibility for my life. I learned to fly on the wings my parents helped me grow and a prayer. My parents were “authority figures” not my BFF’s. They taught me to be both hard and soft, even if it hurt my feelings. My status in life, my health, or disability was never an acceptable excuse for unfavorable behavior or choices. I learned that my attributes, integrity, and heart define me as a person and a human being. It’s unfortunate that a strong mind, resilience, and scars affects people’s opinion of who we are.
Who are we to fight with and judge others because their opinions differ from ours? How do we grow as individuals, having our own sense of self with our own ideals, with no tolerance or respect for others? Democracy and diversity are what the United States of America stands for, yet here we are, divided, now more than ever. Newsflash! Our opinions and hobbies do not presume the type of people we are.
I appreciate and respect my husband’s choice and dedication of spending an entire career in the military. This does not mean I am pro-war and against peace. I think the financial deficit in our society is a problem, and we should offer better care for our current citizens before offering the same to other countries. I don’t participate in “Black Lives Matter” protests, and I enjoy firearms of all kinds. This does not label me a racist or mass murderer. I love being the woman my husband is not. I don’t assume all men are on this earth to rape me, tell me what I can and can’t do with my body, control me, or treat me as inferior because I identify and present my gender as female. I’m straight and don’t march in LGBT parades, but that doesn’t mean I’m homophobic. If I do not understand a lifestyle or opinion varying from my own, I ask questions. Sometimes they appear inappropriate or offensive, but tolerance is about teaching. Teaching leads to education. Education leads to acceptance.
Yes, I’m a human being. Just like you. I am a unique, one-of-a-kind individual. Just like you. We should celebrate and explore our controversies and opinions, not criticize or judge. Never hide who you are or what you stand for because of opinions and assholes.
What happened to “family first?” How can we be part of a “work family” if we don’t even know how to work for the common good in our own families, despite the diversity and differences? We can’t. Still, we believe forcing square pegs into round holes will incite unity. It does to a certain extent, but the “forcing” is what has us stuck in the wrong holes, and neither peg or hole are budging. Just as we are as a nation. No one is budging or even trying to compromise. Everyone has taken their stance and are prepared to fight, no matter how many get hurt. We are elephants and jackasses just screaming at the top of our lungs, trying to prove a point. I value our first amendment rights and the right to peaceful protest, but that is not what has been happening. Every platform has become a battleground for chaos disguised as freedom of speech and protest. We seem to have forgotten the “peaceful” part.
So, where do we go from here? How can we make our country a healthy, happy environment which promotes unity and harmony, despite astronomical differences in opinion and diversity? How can we build a respectable place to thrive where hard work is performed even if it’s not recognized? A place with a united front where a “hand up” differs from a “hand out.” The safe place where people matter more than their entitled opinions.
It’ll be an asset to all if each of us took an inventory of our lives and priorities. Then, consider how they help or hinder unity. How we manage in the world correlates to how we affect the individuals in it. We mustlearn to cease judging others based on their “perceived principles.” Use the skills learned while growing up and apply them in your life. If you didn’t get them growing up, then it’s your responsibility, as adults, to learn them now.
Intolerance is when we are so preoccupied with personal agendas and bandwagons that we are unable to acknowledge or respect others. There is no place for it in the human race. Our eyes are on our cell phones when we should interact face-to-face with others. When we dismiss someone or ignore them with no eye contact, or even a passing nod, we increase the alienation of others, thus widening the gap between “united we stand” and “divided we fall.” We choose not to communicate or acknowledge others for fear of offending someone. Those PC rules change by the minute! By keeping our distance, we are deemed as stand offish and uncaring.
No worries. Social media and text messaging provide a non-confrontational escape with one touch of a “block” button. They have made it easier to be exclusive. Communication has been reduced to a “like” on social mediabecause we don’t have time to bother with friends or family unless it’s gossip or a heated debate.
People are not emotionless robots and are not designed to be loners. Most important, we are members of one race—the human race. It’s time to get our shit together and rally in unity. Get off your soap boxes and into the trenches. Stop acting as though personal opinions are your purpose in life and what makes you special. Opinions are like assholes: everyone’s got one. For the love of all humanity, can we please stop judging each other and condemning each other with them?
I’ll respect yours. You respect mine. We have choices. Let’s choose to never give up on each other and show the world we are more than just opinions and assholes. We are “America the Beautiful!” It’s time to grow up and act like it.