We have all been there. That moment when our friend or coworker makes the most abrasive comment about something while standing right next to a person you think will be completely offended. We have also all been there when someone says something out loud that everyone was thinking, but no one dares mumble.
When it happens to someone else we wait in anticipation for the reaction, slowly walk away, quickly change the subject, or in rare cases, we try to defend someone who can most likely take care of themselves. Since when have we the American people been unable to say what we think?
Since when is it so damning for us to hold an opinion that isn’t the same as everyone else? Since when are we the people who spend our days walking on eggshells and whispering what we believe to be true while silently accepting those things we do not agree with? Since when is “Social Acceptance” more important than anything else?
When I was growing up, we had a saying “sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade” meaning sometimes you just have to tell it like it is. While in the Marine Corp I learned that most of the time the best way to work out my differences with others is to confront the issue, not the person, head on and get to the facts about the issue so I can understand why we disagree. The Bible shares some wisdom on this too: Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”
Donald Trump boldly and loudly leads the current National discussion by doing just that. Those in mass media and some of those who disagree with him have called him crass, rude, cruel, mean and even evil. While those of us who agree with him never condemn what he meant but are sometimes quick to condemn HOW he said it.
So, what if it was you! Ask yourself questions. Did I wake up today planning to be offended by someone or worst planning to offend someone? If so, then never mind, but I doubt you did. What if it is you who is standing there when a person says something you disagree with?
What do you do? Do you simply shut up and walk around all day to avoid those subjects that everyone is emotional about to keep from getting your feelings hurt? Do you avoid those subjects that everyone is afraid of?
Then you might be part of the problem.
If you wonder why Donald Trump is doing so well, it’s because people are talking and sharpening one another. On both sides of his issues, people are talking! If there is one thing I think we can all learn from Trump, it is sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, just to make people start talking!
When we do it, we talk, when we talk we understand, and we understand we won’t always agree, but we can find common ground with our understanding. Common ground is what our Nation is built on, and common ground unites those of us who disagree. It unites us because in our disagreement we can all agree that we are free to disagree and free to search for a compromise (as Trump might say “we can make a deal that is good for everyone”); we are free to disagree without attacking those we disagree with or being offended by those who don’t see things the same as we do.
It’s called RESPECT. Are you angry? Can you see past that anger and try to understand why we disagree and respect everyone, learn something and compromise for everyone’s benefit?
When Iron is used to sharpen Iron, sometimes sparks fly, but in the end, IF we come at the problem from the right angle, we are both sharpened!