Agree to Disagree…With Respect!

This is in response Michelle Malkin’s article “A Thinking Mom’s Message for Jimmy Kimmel.”

I shared this post on Facebook last night, after reading it and wholeheartedly agreeing with the author about care for a sick individual, and how a hospital will never turn someone away, regardless of insurance, lack thereof, or ability/inability to pay.

Jimmy Kimmel made a passionate statement about his son’s health and the need for insurance not to exclude based on pre-existing conditions, while making an appeal to politicians not to exclude pre-existing conditions from the reformed health insurance.  And while that statement is full of (rightly deserved) passion, he didn’t use his voice to discuss coping with a rare disease, or to applaud the efforts of the nation’s best medical professionals (as Malkin says in her article).  What he did instead was make the argument that politicians cannot allow this insurance reform to exclude pre-existing conditions.

I shared Malkin’s post on my Facebook page, but after seeing that a friend had clicked the “angry face” reaction, I removed the post.  I’m not bowing to pressure, but rather, not looking for confrontations.  I know there wasn’t any comments, but I didn’t know how to interpret the reaction – angry because of the argument, or just angry because it is going against this friend’s political beliefs.  Now, it is fine to feel this way, and we can agree to disagree, but I wanted to remove the link from my timeline based on not wanting to argue about it.

I hate confrontation and arguments, and while I was sharing it to show a point of view that may not work for others, it is a rational and calm mind’s way of explaining the reality and how everything can become politically charged.

In other words, someone is going to get offended.  But that’s where conflict and disagreeing disrespectfully comes in. And that is a big problem.

We have a right to agree with each other, disagree with each other, or in cases where we can’t agree, we can agree on disagreeing with each other.  In many cases, disagreements can be friendly and non-confrontational.  For example, we don’t agree on how we feel about a movie, book, or a TV show.  Or, we agree on how we liked said movie, book, or TV show, but for different reasons.  One thing that makes us great is how we can do this, and it not an issue with others.  That is a small example, and hardly one to argue about, though I’ve certainly seen my fair share of arguments about such things.

But now, more than ever, things are tense.  We have become a society of people who are afraid to speak up, make our voices heard, or share something we understand and agree with on social media.  We want to share what we know or understand about something, but society dictates that we are touchy about what others share.  We’re supposed to be looking for an argument at all times.  We’re required to be offended by what someone says to us.  We’re required to hate someone because they voted for someone that is not your candidate.  In the hours after this election, I was unfriended by several people (it wasn’t much of a loss) because of who I voted for, and for my nonpartisan statement that not everyone who voted for Trump is a gloater or braggart.

For my troubles, I got the non-confrontational unfriending from two people, and an unfollow on Twitter, but not before being informed that “they couldn’t follow someone based on their voting choice.”  I didn’t respond the non-confrontational unfriending (I was not upset in the least), but I did inform the person who made sure to let me know on Twitter that “I’m not just my voter status,” but also wished them well.  That’s me, and that’s my nature.  I understand we don’t agree, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

Oh, we can’t?  Well then…

We should be able to respectfully agree and disagree with each other.  We shouldn’t have to worry about confrontation and “hurting someone’s feelings.”  We’re stronger than that, or at least, we were.  I don’t understand why people can’t disagree without argument.  I understand this is not true of all people (I’m definitely one of those people), but it seems to be a trend lately.  It has become a culture of not worrying about every little word and action to the culture of hurt feelings.  Why?  Why should that be a thing?

Remember Rodney King’s “Can’t we all just get along?” Why can’t we?  Why can’t we agree to disagree respectfully?

I have friends whose views I don’t agree with, but there are things we do agree with wholeheartedly, and that’s what makes those friendships great.  For example, nostalgia is my hobby and passion.  It is the hobby and passion of some of my closest comrades in the world of nostalgic geeking out.  But we probably don’t agree on political views.  And that’s fine, because quite frankly, we don’t discuss them.  Because in our circle and element, we’re too busy geeking out over what is important to us.  When we go back to the present, we can talk about the current issues we face everyday.  Or not.  We might not agree on that.  And that’s fine.  We agree on something else.  It is what makes people great – we find common ground.

I don’t write all this because I’m cranky and looking for a fight.  There are other ways I like to spend a half hour of my treasured writing time. But if it is bothering me enough to write it all down, then so be it, that’s what takes priority.

As I always say when I write pieces like this, I’m never looking for an argument.  I am merely giving insight into what happens in my head.  You can take this as you want…or leave it.  I’m fine with that.

Point of all this: agree, disagree, or agree to disagree with respect you would like to have.  Find a common ground, or don’t.  But don’t act offended or upset when someone doesn’t agree with you.  Think rationally, and think about what you do agree on.  Change the subject.  Trust me, you’ll feel so much better that you didn’t have to resort to arguing and hatred toward someone.  No one wants to feel angry and cry, or make someone else feel angry and cry.

If you do, then I feel so sorry for you.

Come on, smile.  Life is (mostly) good.  I think we can agree on that, right? 🙂

You’re smiling already, aren’t you?

My job is done here.

And I’ll close on my usual happy note: Have a great day!

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