Let me preface this by saying I consider myself lucky to have friends. One can never have too many. Growing up they came and went out of my life with regularity, and some have passed on before their time. But I never regretted the time spent with any of them, whether in anger or laughter, in sadness and joy, in cacophony and silence. Every one was a blessing unto my life, even the ones who chose to leave.
Back in the days before social media, we were comfortable not knowing every particular tidbit from every particular friend. I had no ideas on their religious convictions (even when we attended the same church), their political leanings, their discriminatory views (and by this I mean likes and dislikes, not racial bigotry), and outside our high school football team, not even sport fandoms. Personally, I didn’t think it was any of my business, and if they liked the Dallas Cowboys, that was their cross to bear. But social media has made it easier to put one’s views out there. Sometimes that makes friends aware that they don’t have so many things in common with each other, and the dreaded happens.
In the interest of our friendship….
Those are chilling words to read on one’s media. At first it seems they are trying to cushion a coming blow, but that’s the masquerade. Those words come right before being told how “wrong” or how “bigoted” or how “evil” your statement is. It isn’t a way to soften the rebuttal but rather an implied threat. I don’t agree with you and our friendship will suffer for it. And I have to wonder why. Why would any friend consider a different opinion cause to sever all ties? I could understand if my opinion went against the law or broke social taboos but that wasn’t the case. It was a case of the mirror having two faces: two different ways of looking at one thing. Ignoring one face over the other simply because you don’t like it is a disservice to others and to oneself. Always remember: one must always play “devil’s advocate” and question everything; living in an echo chamber gets very old, very fast; and no one has a right to be offended. No friendship should ever be tested because of discourse. Differences of opinion are valuable, necessary, and natural. To think otherwise is to be myopic about the human condition.
And now that I have done my deep thoughts for today, it’s time for another cup of coffee 🙂