“We are not boycotting anyone!” Sounds good? Let’s just say it sounds at least as good as “We respect every opinion”.
This sentence sounds so gentle and pleasant but it is actually dangerous and malignant because of two things:
- It argues that any opinion can be kosher and therefore deserves to be respected.
- It lowers the threshold for criticism of opinions.
We are talking about how crucial it is that we understand that these two sentences have a substantial, even critical meaning.
“We do not boycott, and we respect every opinion.”
So first of all, there are lots of unworthy opinions we really shouldn’t respect at all! And if we look around carefully, we will easily notice that in fact, many opinions are not worthy of respect, but rather of exclusion.
Extremist, racist, gendered, anti-LGBT, extreme religious and many more opinions that most of us got rid of, still many roam the world looking for wandering souls, violent individuals, pursuing revenge, rule, power and other various societal malfunctions.
Compared to a lot of malignant opinions, benign opinions are usually grouped in a few very large groups. Some will even say “one opinion with a few shades in the content”. Not really separate opinions at all.
For example, any religious person who is not an extremist, is directed to the same basic principles of humanity and justice, when diversity will be in the rituals. I really like to talk about religions because they reflect the basic human instinct.
People have pushed religions to execute great revolutions to suit the thought of the time — the “zeitgeist”. This is why I am talking about a religious individual and not about religions as movements.
Exactly the way I am talking about a citizen and not politics…
Why do we think that malignant extremism is in fact the essence of the world? They are always open and sometimes even dominate all the news programs. As if there is a majority of their minds that knows everything and on the other hand, a stuttering minority, lame in its speech and decisions.
The answer is simple and well-known, so let’s just mention it – extremist opinions will always be more “colorful” and their supporters can easily get particular attention against the dull gray of majority opinion.
The extremist opinions are directed at a built-in animal need within us – to get a definitive answer to a definitive problem, right here, right now!
Malignant opinions have no problem submitting such lies — “the great leader told us…”; “God commanded us…”;, “We know all the goals and how to achieve them…” – clear answers. So easy, what fun!
Compared to the quick cutand thrust, the shriek, the fiery eyes of the extremists, the prevailing, gray opinion, tires us in the questions of going to check and even then the situation is complex, the problem is deep and the answer is broad.
Where’s my quick answer ?! Who will satisfy my need to understand what is happening here ?!
Plus what escalates and makes the situation worse is the way we communicate today.
When you are fighting for attention, for a “like” in ratings, you cannot afford an in-depth and boring discussion. What you have is a 3-5 minute interview, you need quick and clear barks. Therefore, all political shows on radio or television, are not meant to make the listener smarter but to turn it on! We do not want a discussion, we want a brawl!
So how do we distinguish between the benign, non-threatening opinions that promote us, and the malignant ones that consume us?
An opinion that is sure to be the right opinion, without discussion or examination, one truth, one nation, one leader and so on, such combinations, should always ignite a big red light.
Benign opinions look different — they usually have a relatively solid core but correspond with softer margins. Holders of benevolent opinions, when they recognize another benevolent opinion, will try to understand the differences, what is similar and what can be combined with the opinion that they currently hold.
The opinions that are undesirable and unworthy of respect should be limited by us.
Ah. And try to minimize listening to political programs. You’ll live longer.