I am an avid reader of online articles, preferring to spread my preferences far and wide to get a good range of understanding and viewpoints when it comes to this world that we live in. On occasion, I admit I have also made the “mistake” of reading the comments when it comes to such articles. In doing so, I am often struck by the frequency in which people take the opinion of one person as an attack against their own lives. You could write an article detailing the reasons why you do not personally like the taste of pineapple and without fail, there will be a storm of people who are mortally offended by your dislike. These people believe that somehow your distaste for a flavor precludes their enjoyment of the same.
Like many others, I partake in the social media insanity that is Facebook. I have friends who are Conservative, Liberal, and Moderate. I have Christians, Atheists, Pagans, and the like. I have friends who love guns, who feel that all guns are bad, and who (like myself) do not mind them so long as they are actually being regulated. There are cat lovers, dog lovers, stay at home parents, working parents… the point is, I know a lot of people, in a variety of lifestyles.
These people and I? We debate, quite frequently.
Admittedly, I have culled from my list those who take offense at every disagreement, but even still I have never understood that type of reactionary response. On occasion, even asking someone to open their mind to the possibility that the world might be different than what they consider has cost me friendships. At one point, one young woman and her boyfriend in fact decided it was a personal slight against them that someone disagreed with them in a discussion they freely joined. My crime in this? Not speaking up to “defend” them, and apparently judging them based on the very non-judgmental contents of the original article I had shared. Ironically, had the young woman taken the time to speak to me, she would know that the piece of background she felt so heavily judged over was one that I personally share with her.
All this rambling brings me to ask – why are we as a people so invested in what others like, dislike, and believe when it comes to determining our own values? Why is it so difficult for us to accept that someone might see the world differently than us, without it having to mean that we are in the wrong? Why are we so closed to new ideas and viewpoints that make us really consider and think about our paradigm as we know it? Paradigms are, and should be, constantly changing! It’s how humans managed to survive and thrive for so long!
So I ask you – why does my dislike of pineapple make you so angry?