Summer 2015 has been one for the history books. Bruce Jenner. Charleston Massacre. Same-Sex Marriage. Flags. Fetal body parts for sale. And let’s not forget Cecil the Lion. June’s Facebook newsfeed looked like the Confederates just shot Skittles out of a cannon. And July’s was full of babies and tigers. Everybody had an opinion. And you know what they say about that. Truth is, it’s fine for everyone to have an opinion. And it’s fine for everyone to share their opinions. But it’s wiser, and much more effective if we share it in a civil and nice way.
In the March edition of our newsletter, I wrote a column about how our First Amendment Right that allows us to voice our opinion through free speech:
Ever thought about dancing naked in front of 75 people? I have. And I’ve spoken about it to my students over the years. I suggest you think about it too. GET REAL PEOPLE! I’m talking about the first amendment to our Constitution. It allows us the right to voice our opinion through free speech, including conduct. And I teach my students about this wonderful freedom and how our individual rights are balanced with the rights of others.
We cannot just go dance naked in front of any crowd, nor do we want to either. Here’s what we do want – people to understand our Constitution, be able to voice their opinion in a nice and civil manner, and quit hating because they don’t always get their way. We should be able to talk about guns, race, and same sex marriage, as long as we do it in a nice and civil manner. Ever read the Constitution? Go do it.
It’s amazing how within hours the Palmetto State went from boasting about the classy way our state and the Holy City handled the Charleston Massacre to an immediate divide and heated debate about the confederate flag. No riots or protests in Charleston when nine people were shot at Bible study, but thousands of fired-up South Carolinians bickering on Facebook. So much that we didn’t even allow the reality of it all set it. We didn’t even give proper respect and dignity to the families who lost loved ones.
Chances are that what you post on social media is probably not going to cause a dramatic shift in the beliefs of others. Shocker, right? However, sharing what you believe in a civil, nice way, allows you to convey your feelings and beliefs in a fair manner. And why not hear out the other person? We can all learn from each other. Remember, we all have prejudices. It’s natural. The way we live daily to reduce our prejudices is what really matters.