No, not referring to the batteries in your flashlight or the Inuit’s view that the earth’s poles are shifting, I’m referring to my observations of our decision-making process.
While it has always been present, it has become more evident over the past couple of years. Never as much so as in the campaigning for the presidential election south of the border and the subsequent election results. In our community, it is showing in the referendum for an event centre. I even see hateful comments on line regarding our elected officials even though they were put in place by our democratic process.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, it is our democratic right. Very few of us are going to be 100% in favour of anything we vote for whether it be a political party, a candidate, or perhaps a project. There likely will be aspects of a campaign or platform that we are not comfortable with as it goes against our values, ethics, or judgement. We should determine who or what we will vote for by careful consideration of what is being put forward. In Canada, I must vote for the local party candidate in order to have that party lead the country. At times, it is not comfortable for me. While I may want the party in power with the leader as Prime Minister, I may not be comfortable that their candidate in my community would be a good representative for the constituents.
What I am seeing today is anything but respectful of another’s opinion. It seems it has become normal practice to belittle, and publicly berate, those who think differently than ourselves. Social media has become a platform of hate, a place to hide and vent. Instead of respectfully seeking understanding of where those who think differently are coming from, we attempt to discredit their thinking and sway the reader to our view.
With the demise of the local newspaper, I see more and more reliance on social media to act as a sounding board. People are turning to it for community news and, while it certainly can be effective in this regard, the downside is it offers little to ensure the information is correct and to monitor opinions that are defamatory. Clearly a lot of people either don’t know, or don’t care, that what is said on social media never goes away. As a result, I think the future is bright for the legal community!
I, for one, would like to see more listening to understand differing viewpoints before making decisions. Although it may, it doesn’t have to change your opinion. It may simply give you more information, that for you, supports your decision.
Be inquisitive, be knowledgeable, but, above all, be respectful of others.
“Standing up for what you believe in, should never cause you to tear down those who think differently.” The Real Kyle Bryant
As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.