A Facebook friend wrote a comment on her page. I disagreed. We are still friends.
I truly wish this was the end of what would be a great story, but
unfortunately, it is not. My friend wrote something that others felt was controversial. Some of those that disagreed with her made her a bit uncomfortable, and now she is considering staying away from topics that may get others panties in a bunch. In a world of where we can travel around the world from our desk, surly we can agree to disagree.
Social Media has allowed people to find people from all areas of our past. I have found friends from elementary school and high school. Reconnecting with my classmates from college brings back some of the fondest memories of days long ago. I’ve found old loves and ex-boyfriends, and even some people that I had hoped to never hear from again. My high school friends and friends from old jobs have also come back into my life through social media. The friends I have made during my travels are a part of my Facebook family, as well as new friends I make each day. Yes, I have a variety of friends from almost all aspects of my life.
And while I have many Facebook friends, I recognize that these people are not my real friends. Many of these people only know a sliver of the experiences that have brought me to where I am today. Most of these people I do not see in my everyday life, my everyday struggles, my everyday joys, and my everyday pains. I would even venture to say that many of them I have not had any personal interaction with for more than ten years. Needless to say, the person that I was in high school, is not the person that I am today. The opinion that I had when I was 25, is not the opinion that I have today. My point of view has changed. My life experiences have caused those changes. I have lived in several cities in different parts of the country, which has caused me to see things differently than some of my friends that have spent their entire lives living in one place. The ideals and values that were given to me by my parents are the foundation of my beliefs today. And while they are a great foundation, they are just the foundation, I developed, nurtured, created and formalized the rest myself.
I say all of this to say that even though I may not agree with your opinion, I still respect you as a person. Respect is a value that we all should have. There is nothing that says I must agree with everything you say or do. I don’t need you like all that I say. Your agreement with me does not validate my opinion. I can still be your friend as we agree to disagree.
My friend did nothing wrong but state her opinion on a current event. She brought a discussion of value to a forum that sometimes dwells on the fluffy. There were some of us that agreed with her and others of us that did not. Her opinion does not make her less of a mother. It does not make her sense of humor less witty. Her opinion is not sending her to hell in a handbasket. It is just that, her opinion. People who are too busy standing on their own self-righteous soap box need to jump off. Really, just jump off, and let the rest of us who like to have interesting conversations, that help us see each other a bit deeper than the fluffy stuff, continue to do just that.
I have often wondered why people feel that a difference of opinion is a personal challenge against their very soul. I like to think it is because when they are asked, they cannot defend their position. Some people have inherited their positions from their parents, friends or spouses. They have not had the life experiences or the balls to have their own ideas. They have not had the maturity to put their opinions to the test. Some have never challenged the beliefs held so near and dear to their hearts and examine them to see if they fit into their current life experiences. Are the opinions of their childhood still valid in their adult lives? Fear comes from the unknown, and not being open to the possibility that maybe I am wrong. Challenging your core can lead to lashing out at those whose only sin was to question.
The ability to discuss those ideas and beliefs is one of the many reasons I enjoy social media. Not only do I get to catch up on the lives of friends and family, but I also get a glimpse of what their opinions are on a variety of topics. And because I respect all people, it means that I respect your opinion. And while I may not agree with it all of the time, but I respect it always. It is just a case where we will agree to disagree…and I will still love you regardless of what you say, because you are my friend.