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Values Over Venting

Kristie Lynn Nelson

A common saying, “I let my emotions get the best of me” speaks volumes in today’s social media circles. So many people are so quick to react with angered emotions over someone else’s opinions, beliefs, or somehow being different without out taking a breath and thinking about the damage they may be causing or the hurt they may be inflicting on others.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not in any way condoning political correctness or the “no bullying politics”. What I am saying is that people have a right to their opinions and you don’t have to like them, you have the option of turning the other cheek and ignoring their comments, respectfully disagreeing or choosing to accept their differences simply out of love and respectful consideration for someone but you do not have to be scornfully rude or distastefully ignorant to someone just because you don’t agree with them, their opinions or don’t understand the person they are.

We have all, I am sure, been a victim in one way or another to someone’s attacks or hurtful words and we know the feeling of being on that end of the sword and the ”fight or flight” response we suddenly take on to defend ourselves and the need to swing back, but what if we STOPPED , TOOK A STEP BACK, and thought about the effect our reactions might have? Does it really matter that much to you to be hurtful to someone to get your point across? Are you not able to carry on a fruitful discussion without being so full of hatred and disdain? Can you not just consider someone’s feelings and respect them and love them for who they are without completely destroying them emotionally for having a different mindset than you or being different than you?

We seem to live in a world where we have chosen to outcast people because they don’t fit our narrative or we let our pride take higher precedence than our love or respect for someone we care about and suddenly we are losing family members or ending friendships because we can’t swallow our pride or step back and allow someone to have a different perspective or to be who they are without thinking we have some moral compass that makes you better than they are and makes you wiser than they are.

I personally, do not believe any of us have the right answers or that any of us deserve to stand above anyone else. Of course, some of us stand on the values we grew up on and the religious values we were taught, and we hold strong to these values, which can make it somewhat difficult to see beyond them.

But just maybe we should start searching deep within ourselves to see outside of our box and reach for a view of what we cannot see that is beyond our own personal line of boundaries.

We have been bestowed upon the Declaration of Independence, that states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have been given the freedom of speech and the right to choose. We should never try to stifle someone’s opinions or their beliefs or belittle someone for being different than you and outside of your way of thinking. What makes your way of thinking the right way?

On the other side of this thought, we should not be so above ourselves that we believe no one should have the right to have a different opinion than ours or should be forced to feel the way we do. We all need to be open minded and willing to see a bigger picture than the box we built to look through.

Let us take a moment, break out of our box we built and take advantage of our right to a pursuit of happiness and everyone else’s right to the same. Love each other for what we see within them and for their differences and their uniqueness. Life is short, do not lose sight of the importance of the value of love, respect, friendship, and family.

A kind neighbor shared with me a song today that says it all, Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “This Train”, do yourself a favor and take a listen.

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