To all bigots, know that your thoughts are yours and how they got there is from someone else, coupled with life experiences. Your life experiences are not the same as gathered wisdom, but more of a world-view without looking at things worldly. While you cite that your opinions are simply that and no one can touch them, or declare their error, you have ironically doubled down upon that very mistake. Opinions are thoughts on a subject that hold no defense and are altered in the face of better evidence on the subject. The mistake becomes purposeful and perverted when the “opinion” is guised as “belief”.
It’s easy to share hatred in something, someone, or a group you don’t understand let alone know. You then have a choice; like anyone else. Side with the bland anger of mob mentality (even if that mob is one other), or ask simple questions to the initial claimer such as, “What makes what you say true,” and then listen to their answer. A clear sign of you being dictated is when your query gains annoyance, frustration, or even anger from the one queried.
You may not know your level of discomfort on a subject, but ask yourself this before you dive into your opinion, or your “opinion”, “Does this harm me physically, mentally, or financially?” If what someone does, does not affect you in either of those ways, walk on because, “no harm, no foul.” A clear form of failing to be civil is if you learn of something, or see something and have a mental knee-jerk reaction. No thought beyond, “Oh that’s gross because <insert excuse>” will not only ruin yourself, but those around you.
You may say to yourself and others, “It’s my opinion, so get over it,” but you must understand, in most cases, people are not attacking your opinion. They are attacking your “opinion”. They are attacking your belief guised as opinion. While you “think” everyone <something>, should be <something>, or <something> is inappropriate, you verbally ejaculate your opinion as fact, belief, and knowledge that you feel everyone is obligated to know or already knew, excluding those who protest your belief.
Even in the heat of a screaming match, one can shake their head, cover their eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and shout, “WAIT A MINUTE!” Start over by saying, “I’m honestly asking, ‘what are we angry about?’” Don’t over-simplify the topic. “You’re mad over popcorn.” No one gets angry over popcorn. No one looks at popcorn, walks to the first person they see and start hollering at them. There’s more to it. Respect the situation. The altercation could have arisen when the popcorn was made, placed on a paper towel, and when someone walked by, clipped it with their shirt, never felt it, and the snack falls to the floor, triggering the ire of the person who desired it. That person may have felt you knocked it down on purpose, or saw it was an accident and wanted you to know what happened. If that is the case, and you deny it, not only is that person upset about your denial of something innocuous, but it could have worldly link to something else they have experienced and those feelings of the past not spoken of, boil to the surface, and instantly, the origin of the subject is lost.
It is not easy to have a discussion on any topic with everyone. This is because most people fall into the blind trap of talking about a subject, that alters into a growing debate, and that debate turns into, “please believe me,” and that evolves into “I’m right.” My current understanding is: If we can focus on ensuring our voiced opinions remain as such, then we can rationally alter our opinions with evidence or at least with a better opinion from someone else, until more research is done to alter the new opinion.
People think about opinions. People hurt others for beliefs. If you cite your opinion as belief, and it harms someone, then you have civilly failed yourself, and those around you.
Thank you for reading.