By Haley Chi-Sing
In light of the political atmosphere, I decided to write an article expressing my personal opinions on the matter. In no way is this article meant to be a political statement or an opinion on my part. As I have shown respect and consideration to others’ beliefs and statements in the past, I hope this respect is reciprocated now.
The paragraph above is how I started a personal blog article last week and, boy, did it not go as planned. Personally, I am not one to speak on politics very casually or even often. I’d rather listen and observe than say anything at all — it’s simply who I am. Which is partly why I included such a disclaimer prior to the article I’d written the other day. I wanted to make it clear where I stood and hoped that the respect and courtesy I had given others in the past would be reciprocated back. But, it turns out, the exact opposite occurred.
Instead of engaging in a friendly discussion, I received much backlash and anger toward my article and me as a person. It was simply due to the fact that I referred to a political event. As you can likely guess, I was referring to the recent and highly publicized Kavanaugh hearings. The article did not surround the details of the event itself, but brought it back to what it says about how people treat people. If I had discussed the same lessons and topics without referring to the hearing, I am sure I would have received a much different response.
When someone starts off by saying “I am not being political,” their comments are often received with a much more aggressive response than if it were a political statement. It almost seems that just because you made it clear that it wasn’t a political comment, you anger people even more. Probably because somehow that statement deals with much more than politics — it deals with humanity itself.
People become much more aggressive when something about their persona or character that isn’t positive is pinpointed by another. In a way, by referring to a political event when speaking about regular topics, you refer specifically to the person to whom you are speaking. In other words, you are inadvertently expressing a truth that the reader doesn’t necessarily want to bring to light.
This is a situation I experienced for the first time, very blatantly, but have come to realize that it happens all around us every day.
In a society so diverse and far-reaching as our own today, I believe courtesy and respect is needed much more than ever. That does not mean we cannot explain our opinions and our views if we do not agree with the other person, because we most certainly can and have the right to.
It is simply how we go about speaking to others and expressing our opinions that must be changed.