I recently saw a Facebook post floating around that was explaining to people how to find out which of their friends "like" Donald Trump. It then pointed out the importance of "de-friending" these people. I was really bothered by this post, not because I support Donald Trump, but because it seems this mindset perfectly summarizes the direction of our culture. The subject of "Donald Trump" in this instance, can really be a blank filled with any topic. We are dangerously close to regressing back into the days of the Hatfield's and McCoy's in that what this post was really saying was:
"Here's a way to find out who of your friends thinks differently than you so you can stop being friends with them."
I was saddened by the idea that the author of that post felt one's perspective on a SINGLE topic was enough to potentially annul years of memories, experiences, and moments that went into a friendship. We claim to "celebrate diversity" in our culture, but the fact is we are lying to ourselves, because when we come across that very diversity, we end up ostracizing it and ending relationships over it. When we cut people out of our lives because they hold different perspectives than we do, our world quickly becomes very small, to the point we eventually only seek out those who think and believe the way we do on EVERY TOPIC! Which, unfortunately, ends up being like 5 people.....maybe not even that many!
We no longer feel the need to try to share perspectives and possibly change someone's mind through logic and debate, we instead simply want to punish people for being so stupid as to not see the world as clearly and plainly as I do. Rather than agreeing to disagree on some topics and then connecting and maintaining relationships on the topics for which we do agree, we simply choose to view each other as idiots and completely disassociate with one another.
As long as topics are more important than relationships, our society will not draw closer together but we will begin to drift back apart, negating all of the work those who came before us did to bridge races, religions, and peoples together. At some point relationship must be important enough that we will seek out things we can agree on, to serve as the adhesive our friendships need to withstand the things with which we don't agree.
So with that I beg us all, when we find a friend who thinks differently on a topic, rather than being so petty as to end the friendship, let's try to change each other's minds. If that fails, agree to disagree on that topic, but then let's find something we do agree on, even if its just a common hobby or activity, whatever it takes! Opinions are important but friends are more important.......and they are worth keeping. Happy Holidays my friends!!