Honestly, when did having a different opinion or belief become synonymous with being evil or despicable? In the past week I’ve been called a loser, a homophobe, a racist, a hillbilly, a nazi, a redneck, an uneducated fool, a backward-brained idiot, an evil man, and a despicable human being? I’m none of these things, and I never have been any of these things. Why did I deserve to be called these things? What was my crime? My opinions and beliefs differ from the “popular” opinions of the day.
When did the need to agree with what’s popular or to demand conformity to the popular ideas become such an insidious danger to those who still hold to what is now unpopular? What happens when a new idea becomes popular? Will the people calling me such hateful names quickly abandon their opinions and beliefs to embrace the new popular ideas (proving that they have no personal convictions other than to think whatever they’re told to think by the “group”), or will they find themselves on the receiving end of the hatred they spew at me so effortlessly and thoughtlessly?
If being popular is so important, then go back to high school. But please leave those of us who live in the real world alone to enjoy the rights of individual conscience that all people should be allowed to enjoy on this planet.
Just because some of my opinions and beliefs are no longer popular does not make me evil. Popularity only exists for a moment. It is our personal convictions, born from experience, trials, and errors, that shape who we are as human beings.
If my opinions and beliefs are unpopular or disagree with yours, and if you think that’s wrong, then that’s your problem, not mine.
Stop trying to bully me into agreeing with you and open a dialogue with me so we can share our ideas with mutual respect. If we cannot reach an agreement, then we simply agree to disagree and move on with our lives – mutual respect intact. Agreement is not required for respect. Agreement is not required for civility. Agreement is not required for acceptance of an individual. Agreement is not even required for love. So stop demanding that I agree with you if our opinions of beliefs differ.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that those who spew hate at those who have different opinions and beliefs will find themselves having hate spewed at them when their opinions and beliefs fall out of favor with the popular crowd. You reap what you sew, and if you don’t want hatred spewed at you, don’t spew hatred at others. It’s really that simple.