I realize a lot of people on here aren't from the United States. However, you have undoubtedly heard about recent tremors of discord shaking up our societal equilibrium. The recent shooting in Florida has re-ignited the fire of anti-gun protests and once again pitted side vs side. You may think that this is my attempt at weighing in on the gun debate, but that is not my intent. Instead I would like to point out what most people seem to have forgotten.
What is truly wrong with our society is not that there are too many guns on the streets, or that there are doctors that will preform abortions, or that you believe our president and commander-in-chief to be a mop headed, racist who colludes with other countries and favors the rich in his policies. The real problem is that we, as a nation, have become so polarized, that to simply have a differing opinion is viewed as an attack. If you do not wholly agree with someone, nowadays, you might as well punch them in the face, as they both seem to carry the same weight. Long gone are the intellectual and intelligent debates where two grown individuals could calmly voice their opinions in a forum of open mindedness and willingness to listen, and be heard. Instead replaced with yelling, screaming, and a complete intolerance of an opinion that is not shared.
"Where is the problem?" you may ask. Well, the problem with this is that the world is not black and white. The solution to the world's woes do not lie with the Bible thumping, gun toting, hillbilly republicans, whom you believe are owned by the corporations and are out to declare war on the common man. Nor does it lie with the Snot nosed, whiny, fascist democrats whom you believe want nothing more than to whittle your rights away one by one. The answers and solutions lie in the middle. We constantly misuse the word literally, like LITERALLY on a daily basis. Yet, we have forgotten one very important word. Compromise.
But how is a reluctance to compromise such a problem? The problem is that when we are closed off to other ideas other opinions, and other view points, we limit ourselves to a very narrow minded view of the world. One in which all information that does not agree with our opinions are shut out and ignored. We are swimming in a pool of misinformation, and cherry picked data. All of which, has been cooked up, dished out, and fed to all the cattle of the American society. Don't get me wrong. The misinformation is on both sides of the fence. Fox News, on the one side. CNN, MSNBC, on the other. People often argue,
"Well, Fox is way worse."
"The Liberal bias in the media is unquestionably unbalanced to any dribble Fox could ever spew out."
Misinformation is misinformation. Just because you happen to agree with their viewpoint does not make it any more right. It means your opinion is rooted in falsity. It also means that you have stopped growing, as a person, when you are closed off to new information, and new ideas. But even more so, it means that when two people "debate", nothing will ever get done, nor will anything ever change other than loss of friendships and possibly great relationships. They are so closed off to other ideas, it no longer becomes sharing of ideas, but more of shouting yours louder than the other person. Somehow we believe this will cause the other person to miraculously decide we were right and they were wrong the whole time.
What we fail to realize is that we do not have the solution. I'm sorry, single mother, upstanding member of the PTA. I'm sorry redneck in your pickup truck slinging your double barrel shotgun on your gun rack. You don't have the solution to making the world a better place. If you do, then perhaps your time would be better spent solving the world's problems and less creating mean memes on Facebook, in an attempt to make the other side look stupider than you. You may believe you're more intelligent, and more open minded than your counterpart, but I have news for you. You're not.
In the midst of all this, there really is a fairly simple solution. We need to fact check all information we receive. We need to come together and realize that your neighbor with the different opinion is not the enemy. He is your neighbor with a different view and different ideas, shaped through different life experiences. We need to realize that maybe our ideas alone, aren't the solution. That maybe the solution is a culmination of all ideas, and idealogies. We meet in the middle and we can achieve so much more than we ever could on either side. Realize that because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean they don't care about your child's safety. Maybe it's just that they believe there's a different, maybe even a better way, to achieve it, and maybe you should be open to suggestion, instead of name calling and fisticuffs.