Who doesn’t know the best way to handle differences of opinion is respectfully. It is a no-brainer that we should talk to others like we want them to talk to us. Emotional abuse or physical violence is just wrong! But what keeps us from putting that understanding into action? I have written about this ad nauseum so I am going to try to put it all together. The way individuals handle their differences in political and personal relationships is harming our nation as well as our children.
The first step in handling differences respectfully is to stop claiming moral superiority.
One way to determine morality from immorality is if a law is even necessary. We don’t have to vote if murder should be a law. Spiritual-minded people are often the worse actors. In a Facebook group discussion, I may suggest the Bible can’t be the final word about God since even biblical scholars disagree on meaning of the same passages. God-folks start by saying I am wrong and nonsensically claim I know better than God. Until we stop claiming morality according to a Book or our own intuitions, we will never be able to solve our differences. Imposing our will on non-moral issues such as health care, taxes, or marriage makes freedom a mockery.
Who doesn’t know physical violence is wrong.
It is obvious physical violence is off the table in personal relationships unless protecting yourself from danger. Politics is no different. We must peacefully protest and violent protestors must be called out by their own leadership, so we can discuss solutions to our differences. It is horrible when people of different color or gender don’t naturally have the same rights. Those who enjoy their rights protected must not remain silent. Authorities such as police must be obeyed and their actions reviewed by outside parties for possible expulsion or criminal charges. Martin Luther King demonstrated change is possible through peaceful means, but I would like to think today more of us privileged support equality.
Who doesn’t know emotional violence is wrong.
It isn’t right that President Trump belittles and name-calls. His family and those under his leadership should call him out. But, just because someone belittles you is no reason to respond back in like fashion. After all, you condemn such behaviors from your adversary. Someone has to be the bigger person! If parents are an important example for their children, so is leadership an important example to their citizens. Be concerned that those who voted for you and those that didn’t vote for you can be provoked to retaliate against verbosity with physicality. Differences can be resolved by respecting the freedom of opinions and committing to growing in understanding.
Differences can lead to creative solutions than chaos.
- We must first stop claiming our views are morally superior to those we disagree with
- We must handle differences with physical and emotional civility
- We can begin conversations by looking for areas we agree
- We can discuss differences by defending our reasoning, respecting the opinions of others, and committing to growing in understanding
- In a democratic society the vote of the majority must be followed until voted on again
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