Brittany D
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Does It Offend You?

Do you get offended at people's opinions? If so, then take a peek. Maybe it won't offend you?

Photo by RAWPIXEL from Pexels.com

Sometimes we find people, comments or things offensive and we decide to react in a way that is not always becoming. Sometimes this turns into an argument or heated discussion. People expressing their opinions can create feelings and emotions within us, especially when that particular opinion doesn’t sit well with our ideology or morals. Maybe even your religion prevents you from accepting someone else’s opinion.

In this day in age with all the different political parties, we’ve forgotten how to respect others rights to their opinions. We shout, scream, throw things, curse up a storm or insult the person until we’re blue in the face. At Trump rallies, people get their signs torn up, flags stolen and destroyed; all while people scream and shout from the other side.

What people don’t seem to understand is you have a right to express your opinion, NO MATTER what it is. You have a right to be upset with someone if you don’t like their opinion, you can get mad, upset, yell and scream as much as you want to. NOTHING gives you the right to take their property, destroy it, invade their space or obstruct them from video recording, taking pictures or watching someone else speak.

If you do these things, cops will arrest you. You are destroying property, you’re assaulting someone if you touch them in any violent or threatening way, and you’re being pretty darn rude by obstructing a persons FREEDOM to view anything they wish.

I understand that you’re upset, that the opinion doesn’t fit yours or that you view it as wrong, racist, fascist or whatever other term you want to apply. NONE of that matters. You are not a cop, it’s not your job or your right to police what people say or record. There is no such thing as HATE SPEECH because if there was, then someone would have to define where to draw the line. People can say things that are very offensive. However, it isn’t against the law to be racist or fascist.

You want the freedom to say what you want, whenever you want, wherever you want right? Well the road goes both ways. You can’t have it and take it away from someone else. Even if the message is offensive to you. Now what you can do, is tell others what you think of what someone else is saying. Go out and tell people that you don’t agree, why you don’t agree and show them evidence to prove your point.

No one is trying to stop you from doing that. Until we stop yelling and screaming at each other like children, nothing will change. Inciting violence, blocking street traffic, obstructing people’s pathways and preventing people from walking places doesn’t send a very good picture to your message.

In order to beat a fox, you have to outsmart him. While I voted Trump, I believe everyone should have an open platform to speak, not yell about his or her beliefs. Use yours and speak up.

There’s nothing against supporting the groups that you believe in or support. Everyone should encourage others to have a difference of opinion. Facebook is a great platform to get your opinions out there. However, I would not use it as a place for discussions because your tone might get lost in translation. If you are good at expressing your opinions without seeming offended, angry or anything then Facebook would be okay. Generally though, having in person discussions or debates is much easier.

Having a debate with someone is not a chance for you to put them down, call them names or harass them. It’s an opportunity to explore and discuss your difference of opinion, why you have that difference of opinion and making your opinion seem more logical to the other side so they can more clearly understand where you’re coming from. No opinion is wrong. Everyone has a right to their opinion, so please remember to be respectful of people when starting debates. Remember the rule of thumb. Talk then let the other side have a turn.

That is how a debate should go. There should be no crossover of voices, no interrupting and no yelling or screaming. Debates are good practice for marriage as well. Get a timer if you’re in person and give each person two or three minutes to say the entirety of what they want to say, then give yourself two to three minutes to respond.

During your response don’t insult the other person’s opinion, but instead use references to support your own opinions. If you don’t have a timer, you can do it mentally. Just wait for the other person to finish, then when its your turn begin. If they interrupt you explain that you were quiet while they were speaking and could they give you the same courtesy. If the person says "NO," or “You don’t deserve a platform” walk away because having a debate with that person will be impossible. People who say things like that have no interest in hearing or discussing any other views. These are the people that will scream insults at you. Save yourself and them some time by not engaging. Simply say that you need to go and walk away. You don’t need to be smart or say something insulting to them. Just leave.

For people who apologize and remain quiet, they are the people who are interested in having a debate. They will try their best to support their opinions with references and information. Don’t dismiss their information, but instead say that you will look up that reference later after the discussion. Information isn’t ammunition; it’s a resource for you to spread knowledge.

Take emotion out of debating and instead turn to facts. If you have an opinion on a certain topic you can express that opinion. However, if you engage in a debate with someone who has facts you need to explain that you are just expressing your opinion. That will let them know you are not prepared to defend your opinions in a debate.

Expressing your opinion is free and you can do so at ANY TIME. Don’t let someone tell you that you cannot express your opinion. You can.

Stay safe, be nice and happy writing!

Read next: Why Not Me?
Brittany D

I am a writer, author and painter. I have a Master's degree in Creative Writing and love writing about all kinds of topics. I'm a conservative republican, but respect all views. 

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