In this time of the world with US politics, it’s become apparent to me on certain social media sites, Facebook in particular, that some people are becoming angry with others for voicing their political opinions. Many I’ve seen have even ‘unfriended’ others. Is this what the new norm is becoming, politics coming between friends? Because if it is, it isn’t right.
Yes there are plenty of the population upset, petrified and in disagreement with the state of the US election, but we are all entitled to our opinions without being judged whether our friendships are still worthy with one another. Is this cause to become undivided at a time when the world is begging for unification? No! This is a time where people need to work out their differences and start spreading some love and compassion around, and learn acceptance, not be bashing others for their opinions.
I had managed to keep my political opinions to myself this past year for these exact reasons, fears that those who disagreed with me might get angry and wish to sever ties. But when the outcome of the election was announced, I was shocked and appalled as were many, and felt compelled to voice my opinion, my opinion, which doesn’t make it the gospel. There are many elements to the whys and how we vote. Even if the person we’ve voted for seems unfit or unjust to hold such a position of authority, that shouldn’t give us the right to start bashing people for their difference of opinion. But it’s happening a lot.
People are seen arguing why they are right, and consequently, ‘unfriending’ those who aren’t in their camp. Angry words are flying in the cyber world against those whose views aren’t aligned with other’s. This is wrong! This has all the makings of where hatred breeds and we don’t need to add fuel to this type of disease.
At this time in the world, we have to garner compassion for the decisions we’re faced to live with and try to make something positive from the negative feelings and rhetoric we’re surrounded with to avoid festering into bigger issues. If a friend disagrees with our opinion, it’s okay for them to voice why they’re on their different side of thought.
I’ve read hundreds posts in the last 2 nights and seen how people are reacting to feedback. Some are diplomatic, and others trying to hammer their point to others, hoping to sway them over to their point of view, leaving angry comments to those who won’t agree with their opinion.
When I decided I needed to voice my own opinion, I posted with my reasoning of why I was upset over the vote, and consequently, I had only one long-time American friend disagreeing with my post, defending his vote for Trump to me. We didn’t fight and argue. Yes, we bantered a bit in a civil manner, trying to substantiate our point of views to one another, but we left it at that, his opinion, my opinion, we voiced them, and end of conversation, not friendship.
Here’s a copy of exactly how that conversation went down in response to my post. (name deleted for privacy)
Me: ” No doubt, and nothing new. Immigrants are treated very well in this country.” 🙂
He said: “you can have Sharpton”
Me: You should keep him. 🙂
Last year when I was in Arizona, before I learned more about Trump and began to follow the election with a scrutinizing eye, I thought perhaps Trump may have been a fresh face to the world, not connected to politics, and could possibly be a help to the people, before he started spewing his rhetoric and misbehavior. I had mentioned to a friend at the time, I liked him. But my opinion changed drastically as time went on. The other day that friend messaged me and asked me how come I changed my opinion. My response: “I’ve seen and learned too much since then.” That was it. Short and sweet was my reply to my friend, and we continued to chat about other things as we always had. I didn’t elaborate. She didn’t question me further. We moved on. We are friends and both of us didn’t want to get lost in our opinions and soil a friendship over them.
I’m not going to abandon my friends because of their opinions, as I hope they wouldn’t do to me either. It’s a time for us all to grow up and learn to respect one another, and remember to value the reasons we have those friendships. Friendship isn’t licence to force people to have all the same beliefs we do, but it does entail learning to respect that others are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree and move on.
Politics are always going to happen. The world changes, good politicians and bad ones come and go, but friendship can’t be bought or sold. Like a marriage, we have to weather the storms that threaten to divide, to keep the peace and unity in a relationship.Follow Me on Social Media!