Opinions. Are you looking to be Offended?

I grew up in the non “digital age”…I’m not THAT old, but I did, thankfully, grow up without the Internet, the Google, the Facebook, the Instagram, the Twitter, the (your favorite social media/online site).  Since I grew up without those online communities, when any issue or topic was discussed, it was typically hashed out face-to-face.

However, catty girls have always existed and in my day and age a 3 way call was placed with a silent 3rd party while baiting a “friend” to dish on the one listening in. That 3-way call today is played out by millions of users hiding behind screens and typing hateful opinions.

It seems the world wide web is no longer a space for knowledge and sharing life, but a space being quickly taken over to cast opinions and judge those who don’t agree with said opinion. The topics range from….

Schools & Education 
…and on and on… 

The media is bating the listener with out of context photos and videos, snip-it’s of not-the-whole-story “breaking news” and chatter to enhance their ratings and increase profits.

The public is scouring and waiting for something to offend them, becoming a society looking to tear someone apart, destroying reputations and businesses along the way. The intensity to cast the stones is epic. Oftentimes I think what people could do with all of that energy focused somewhere for the good of others!

It’s ok to be offended.  
It’s ok to have a conflicting opinion. 

It means you stand for something. 

How you handle the offensive and expressing your opinion is where the problems arise.  

Attacking isn’t the answer. These attacks are on the trivial like commenting on Instagram about “putting your kids in danger taking pictures in the car” when viewer has no idea that the car is parked, nor any validity to comment and judge a parent.  Or, to the significant when decisions made by our government affect entire Nation.

Seeking to listen and understand someone before attacking is a much better answer.  Have ALL the facts, not a square frame of a picture, a 5 second YouTube clip, a media headline without the full story or make the initiative to sit down face to face with a person and listen, really listen, before casting an opinion.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I received lately about differing opinions/controversial topics was to put equal, or really more, effort into looking at yourself and your circumstances/what you represent before start casting opinions, advice (which is usually masked judgment) and other hate. For example: disagree with marriage equality ruling? Are you married? What does your marriage look like? What does it represent? Is there something you need to work on in your own marriage? Before you start tearing down decisions, focus on your own marriage and what it represents to the world and shine a light on what you believe because you are honest, open, working hard to live out what you believe.  Not married? Same rules apply in dating.

A lot of our opinions come from insecurity, but that is a topic for another day. However, see above: need to be happy and content with self instead of hating/judging/tearing apart others.

photo via Instagram

There will always be something to strike a nerve and we will all continue to fail at hurting those closest to us by speaking before we really should have. At the end of the day, we can work to make a small change every day and learn to look for how to love instead of how to hate and force our opinion.

Be kind, but that’s just my opinion.

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