In today’s society, social media gives a voice to anyone with an internet connection. From keyboard warriors to the good-hearted citizens, the rise of the Internet has allowed people with different views, intentions and beliefs, to publicly air their opinions as loudly as they like.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and call out someone for having a different opinion to you. Believe me, I do it all the time and it can be incredibly difficult to stop myself. It’s always for and against an issue, and rarely ever will you find a moderate third-party who sits in the middle of an issue trying to call for calm or understanding.
Pro-marriage equality vs. traditionalists.
Those for immigration and acceptance of refugees vs. those who believe Islam will ‘ruin Australia’- or some variation of that sentence.
Like I said, I’m quite guilty of arguing with people whose views differ from mine and I’m positive that most of us at some point or another have gone in to back whatever argument we prefer.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t achieve anything.
Calling someone out for being a ‘bigot’ or a ‘leftie’ only reinforces their belief. It reinforces that they are right and you are wrong because you insulted them.
Instead, we should seek to understand why they think the way that they think. Try to understand why they hold the opinions that they do, especially if those opinions are factually incorrect. Understand them and their way of thinking and how they came to the answers that they have, so that you may have a more wholesome view of their side of the issue.
Once we hold a better understanding of people who are different from us, we can then seek to educate or to compromise, because more often than not, there are a number of us who believe in the facts, and those of us who refuse to believe them.
Let us take the honourable senator from Queensland, Ms. Pauline Hanson.
In her maiden speech to Parliament Ms. Hanson let rip on a large number of allegations, that, to her supporters, only reinforce the rhetoric that Ms. Hanson has ridden into the Senate.
“Now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims”
The Muslim population makes up only 2.2% of the total Australian population, and is the fourth highest religion in the nation behind Christianity, Atheism and Buddhism at 66.1%, 22.9% and 2.5% respectively.
However, there are enough people who believe Ms. Hanson’s allegation despite the facts being completely different.
This is why I so often find myself in the comments sections of Facebook posts.
But from now on, I will endeavor to understand why people hold these beliefs, beliefs that are very different from mine. Why people hold genuine fears and have genuine concerns for our society, also very different from mine, and you should seek to do the same.
Only through understanding and tolerance can we resolve our issues, instead of insults and venom.
By Tyler Trevaskis