~ If you haven’t noticed, whenever you speak your mind in life there is the propensity for people to get upset;
—) Tell your parents that you don’t want to pursue the career and life they demand of you and they might not be too thrilled
—) Tell your boss or manager that they are wrong about something, and it might not be received very well
—) Tell someone that you disagree with their philosophy and it might stir up some heated feelings
We live in a culture where it’s common for people to say, “I’ll talk about anything with you except for politics and religion”. People tend to get easily offended.
I’m writing this early Sunday morning, and as I wrote that last sentence I was reminded of times I tried to gently share some concerns I had with fellow church members; and in my experience, church is definitely not the place where people like to hear disagreement, especially if you are disagreeing with their ideology.
It’s also a lot easier to voice our disagreement via the Internet; there is something impersonal about going on Facebook or some type of Website and vocalizing our thoughts. In many ways that is a good thing; the Internet has become a tool for people to argue topics they might be too scared to debate in real life.
However, the Internet also allows people to be bullies in new ways we have never experienced before in the history of humanity. Numerous stories about teens who have been bullied on the Internet have become national stories. People have suffered major levels of bullying and it is ended in dire consequences.
I’ve never been all that afraid to speak my mind. Usually though I tend to keep my thoughts to myself unless I feel the situation warrants deeper conversation. After all, most people really don’t want to hear what we think about something; they only want a non-judgmental format to share their own thoughts, without fear of repercussions or backlash from what they share.
Writing publicly on a blog is a different story. Here I feel free to share whatever is on my mind in a more personal manner than in face-to-face conversations. People are free to read my articles, and they are also free to hit <delete> or skip them altogether.
Thankfully, many people end up responding to my articles even when they disagree, and that is a good thing. Diversity of thought helps each of us to better refine our understanding and knowledge. Diversity of opinion helps each of us to see things from different perspectives that we may have never before considered.
Of course, it is a shame that some people on the Internet (and in real life) resort to personal attacks. It is sad that family and relatives will often say the cruelest things; the type of comments that hurt us to our core. It is sad that strangers who have never met us in person will troll our blogs and social networks and say the cruelest things, as though they are god and know our very hearts.
For these reasons and more, my friend John and I began Culture Monk LIVE, an opportunity for my readers and anyone else to join us in LIVE streaming conversations via the Internet. To demonstrate to the public that we can have deep conversations about issues we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on, in a civil manner.
There is no reason to be so easily offended when we disagree. There is no reason to resort to personal attacks when we disagree. There is no reason to attack someone’s integrity or inner motivations, simply because we disagree with their philosophy.
It’s time to turn back the clock on Western Culture, and return to an era when adults had meaningful conversations about issues they disagreed on; a time when we could challenge each other to go beyond the simple thoughts we think, and really tackle the nitty gritty subjects that can only be touched up though deeper conversation, dialogue, and debate.
I offer an open invitation to anyone who would like to join John and I on our LIVE streaming show; join us to disagree with us, or simply to join the conversation and add your own thoughts on a particular subject. Culture Monk LIVE is our Online coffee house conversation, from where we live, brought to you all over the world.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society