I am very respectful when I comment on a post keeping in mind that everyone has an opinion and not all of them will agree with mine. That's ok, discussion is good and my belief is that not everyone has to think the same as I do.
This particular woman was upset that I believed what I did and that I wouldn't change my opinion. She asked me why I believed what I believed so I gave her facts. The facts were backed up by historical documentation. She became so upset that after she made a particularly rude comment, the owner of the site deleted the whole conversation. I still to this day don't know why she chose my comment to attack. It wasn't even a particularly important post.
What's the point of all this? Well, we hear that everyone is important, everyone has a right to voice their opinions, equality for everyone, right? Then why don't we practice what we speak? As hard as some opinions are to hear, we shouldn't attack anyone because they think differently than we do. Through discussions sometimes an opinion will change, however, most of the time they really don't change. When we attack someone for giving their opinion, we cause them to shut down and the discussion stops. Communication dies.
When I was growing up, we were taught to respect our elders. As a child I knew that the older adults in my life were wiser than I. Did I always agree with them? No, but I took their opinions in and then formed my own. Sometimes the result resembled theirs, sometimes completely different. I never attacked anyone for their opinion.
The following quote is quite true and the older I get, the more I appreciate it:
" Too often we enjoy the comfort of our opinion
without the discomfort of thought."
- John F. Kennedy -
The Bible teaches how to deal with people who don't agree with our beliefs, opinions or choices. The Bible says we should be:
"wise as serpents and harmless as doves".
- Matthew 10:16 -
In other words, don't push your opinions or beliefs on someone, approach everyone with the same respect you would want from them.
Realize that not everyone will agree with you and that's ok. Unless they can provide proof, stick to your opinion or belief. Maybe through the discussion you will be able to show them a new way to look at something.
You will never win the opinion game with attacks. You will never win any argument with attacks. People are changed through knowledge, education, and facts, but only if they are open to discussion.
In closing, I believe that if the owner of the site mentioned earlier had not deleted our discussion, I could have turned it around and perhaps gained the respect of the woman who attacked my comment. I probably would have never changed her mind, but it wouldn't have ended as it did - in attack mode
How do you handle it, when someone shares their opinion with you and it's different than yours? Have you ever been attacked because of your opinion or belief? How did you handle it?