Editorial by Tina Johansson
A friend recently posted this on her Facebook page: “Open minded people do not impose their beliefs on others. They accept that we all have a different perspective on life, and do their own thing in peace, without judgement.” – Steve Aitchison, motivational speaker
Strong words. I wonder how many people actually follow this though?
Pretty much wherever I go, it seems people are tightly wound up in the tensions of today. And no wonder. There is lawlessness and unrest in the streets. People are losing their homes and jobs at a staggering rate. Something as simple as going to a movie theatre may give us cause for concern. This uncertainty has fed greatly into people, etching a type of hatred and hostility which is only being perpetrated by many of our leaders, and the upcoming presidential election.
People whom we felt were accepting, suddenly become vicious dogs.
To my journalist friends, I have to say this: You are not helping.
If we support one group over the other, we are quickly labeled a “racist” and a “bigot,” no matter our thoughts.
If we speak up for the candidate of our choice, whom we feel would serve in the best interests of our country, we are attacked out of nowhere. People whom we felt were accepting, suddenly become vicious dogs.
So let me ask you this: If I vote for the person of my choice, wear a T-shirt or a button with my preferred candidate’s name or face, will there be glaring and belittling? In other words, will I be judged?
If I put a sign in my yard promoting the candidate I choose, should I be afraid someone will trespass on my land, tear the sign down, or even worse?
Should I be afraid of anything regarding my right to express my views? The uncertainty can no doubt cause anxiety and division.
I find that I am far from alone in feeling this way.
It seems the right to free speech is only right, if we agree with everyone else. But how can that be?
Truth be told, everyone has their leanings. Yes, we are all human. But we were each raised differently.
When something someone says or displays frightens us, scares what we believe will end the lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to, we resort with anger, hate and contempt.
A friend recently told me, “If you are going to delve into politics, you best be ready for a blood-bath.”
The thing is, most people aren’t really delving into politics when they choose to wear an particular article, or place a bumper sticker on their car promoting the candidate they have chosen; are they?
Do we really have to be concerned of the potential for a confrontation, or God forbid, a “blood-bath” when we simply wish to go out to hear a particular candidate speak – a freedom this country should ensure us all?
It makes me wonder just how open minded we really are.