I have shared before that I am not someone who gets riled easily. I do not get offended easily, and I am not really hard to please. But I do have strong opinions about basic human decency, about treating others with respect, about being courteous and thoughtful.
My Facebook newsfeed has been bombarded lately, by the messages of a few, regarding their passion for the Second Amendment and their disdain for the man elected to lead this country. Although these opinions differ from my own, I find value in seeing the perspective of others. I feel it is a mistake to believe that my view is the only truth and to block out anything that contradicts it.
That being said, I’ve been disturbed lately by the words I read and by the stories or memes shared. I believe in the First Amendment. I believe you, all of you, have the right to express yourselves and your beliefs. You have the legal right to be rude, hateful, and disrespectful towards our President.
You have the right.
But I want to ask a favor.
Could we all, on both sides of the political spectrum, ask ourselves a few tough questions before clicking the post button? Please?
- Is it necessary to use derogatory names in order to get my point across? If the material being posted is worthy of sharing online, can it not stand on its own without resorting to name calling?
- If my child used this same language and names when referring to a teacher, coach, or classmate, would I be okay with it? Would I be okay with them posting it online to share with the whole world?
- In regards to the President, ask yourselves, please: Would you be willing to say these words to the face of the man? Would you call him that to his face? What if his daughters were in the room? Would you call their father names in front of them? Because they are, you know. They are in the room.
- Someday our children will grow up and they may have views that are different from the ones we are sharing today. They may see the things we posted online about other human beings, the words we used, the labels we hurled. Will they be proud of us?
A little common courtesy towards fellow human beings – that’s really all I’m asking for here. That, and the awareness that these people on the other side of the argument, even the ones in the White House, are indeed human beings.