In philosophy, politics, ramblings, social commentary on December 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Apparently I am not as clear in my writing as I should be. I was accused of preaching hate by someone who is important to me for my last post.  So let me try and make myself understood a little better.  EVERYBODY deserves to be heard.  EVERYBODY deserves a voice.  It does not matter if they are saying what you want to hear.  It does not matter if they disagree with you.  It does not matter if they are stupid, racist, or a Red Sox fan.

You do not need to listen.

But you should.

You should listen.  The first reason is just practicality.  You should always know what your enemy is thinking.  But more than that, those people are not necessarily your enemy.  And if you listen, actually listen to what they have to say you might realize that.  You might find common ground to build a dialogue.  You might both want the exact same thing but are going about it differently using different language.  And finally, things in life change.  One day you might discover that your child is gay or even that you are gay.  You might be a rich ad exec one day and be fired and bankrupt and depending on food stamps the next.   Or maybe you grow up poor but get drafted into the NFL, record a hit record, or invent that little doo-dad that the world can not live without.  Your point of view can change dramatically at any point and for no reason that you can predict ahead of time.  That group of people you are dismissing today maybe your only support tomorrow. (in a side note, the Dallas Buyers Club is an excellent movie and is about this very topic.)   If you are Christian remember that while you may be able to use the Bible to justify speaking against any number of people different from yourself, nothing is more central to Christianity (or Taoism in my case) than acceptance and forgiveness. I’m not trying to pick on Christianity here. It is simply one of the few religions I have in-depth knowledge about.

I think most of us agree that there is a line that once crossed certain language is unacceptable.  The problem is that none of us can agree on where that line is.  I think that if we were to take a poll we would discover that the location of that line differs dramatically from person to person.  Because there can be no consensus on where grey turns to black we must accept that ALL language needs to be allowed.

You do not need to listen.

But you should.


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