Not Everyone Thinks Exactly the Same As You Do

Whatever your views about politics, about religion, (or about the Star Wars films) I have news for you - there are sane, intelligent, reasonable people in the world who do not share them. 

Most of these people are not idiots, or bad human beings, even if you think they are wrong. 

Indeed, unless you are always absolutely right about everything - something which I don't believe any human being in history can claim - there might even be the possibility, however slight, that they might be right about some of the things on which you disagree with them. 

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, Tracy Ullman did a sketch about a "Different Opinions Support Group" which was not only very funny but makes the point perfectly.

I doubt if there is anyone who has very strong opinions who has never, ever spoken or written of people with differing views with less respect and tolerance than is, perhaps, wise or appropriate. 

I'm not going to pretend that I have never done it myself, and I need to make an effort to do so less often. Indeed, between the first draft of this post at the weekend and the final published version today, I have taken out language, indicating how not to refer to those people who hold different views, which was based on recent posts on my Facebook wall and the comments section of this blog, because I want this to be seen as a general comment which all of us including myself and those who do think like me need to pay attention to, not an exercise in pointing fingers at those who disagree with me. 

The tendency to be very rude to people because they hold opinions you disagree with seems to be worst when one is seated behind a keyboard - especially, but not only, from people who post anonymously, but there are plenty of people who are rude when they also sign their name. 

I also think that the collapse of civility online is feeding into an similar increase in vituperative language in the "real world." I've been thinking for some time of reposting the Tracy Ullman sketch with an appeal for a bit more courtesy for those who do not think the same way, so I hope this will not be seen as a reaction to any recent blog, Facebook or Twitter posts - hence the rewrite already referred to.

Life is just too short to make enemies of everyone with a different worldview.


Paul Holdsworth said…
Well, quite...

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