I Am Entitled...

...to state my opinion.  I am entitled to speak my mind.  I should be able to do that with confidence and without fear, as should you.

You may not agree with my opinions.  You may not care to hear what I say.  That's fine.  You don't have to agree with me.  And if you're not interested in what I have to say you are entitled, you have the right, not to listen.  (Or read in the case of social media. Don't like what you've read thus far; then STOP!  It's okay.  My feelings might be a little crushed, but I'll get over it; I'm pretty resilient.)

I have said before I have friends on the right; I have friends of the left.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  And occasionally (sometimes more than occasionally), I get annoyed by what they have to say.  But I don't have to engage.  I don't have to read or listen.   I think we forget that we don't have to read every Facebook post or tweet.  Confession; if someone's going off on a rant very often I just skip over it.  It's not the end of the world!

If I am in a face to face discussion, I can (POLITELY) change the subject or simply say that it's a topic that I don't wish to discuss.  If they wish to continue; I can simply walk away.  There is no need for harsh words or rudeness.  There is no need for a physical or verbal altercation if you don't agree.  While healthy debate can sometimes be fruitful; there are times when just walking away is the best idea.  Why get annoyed or angry? People have their thoughts and opinions for reasons that are their own, no matter how wrong you might think they may be.  Nine times out of ten, your arguing with them is NOT going to change their mind, so why push it?  One of my favorite bible verses (or, if you're adverse to that, song lyrics) is:  To everything there is a season...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."  Maybe we should focus on BOTH of those times and learn when to do each.

You are entitled to your thoughts and opinions; just as I am entitled to mine.  Neither should be foisted on each other.  There is no rule that says everyone has to agree.  But there should be a rule that we should RESPECT each other.  You don't have to agree with or even respect my opinion, but you should respect me and the fact that I am entitled to think and believe differently than you do.

Don't agree; just respect.  Be polite.  We've all been taught that if we don't have anything nice to say perhaps we shouldn't say anything at all.  Maybe there's a reason that saying has been around so long.  It's something to think about (that is if you've read this far).

It's 2015.  It's time to respect each other.  Time to show a little politeness no matter what our views might be.  No need to slam each other (physically or verbally).  Don't like what someone has to say?  Don't read, don't listen.  Move on.  You ARE entitled.


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