Don't Raise Your Voice

Improve Your Argument

There is a saying "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." That is so applicable in today's hostile, politically charged, and divided nation.

I have friends all over the country and world. My views are varied, diverse, and many. I try to approach things with an open mind, am willing and able to admit when I am wrong based on facts not hearsay, not speculation, but proof. I will discuss almost any topic with anyone so long as they remain respectful and not sling insults or profanity.

To that end, so many debates, disagreements, and arguments take place online through social media where these hateful communication tools are the text version of raising your voice. So my advice to anyone in a disagreement with someone else, even if in your mind their views are vile and hateful, don't "raise your voice" and resort to base and ineffectual communication tactics like racial slurs and personal attacks, improve your argument with facts and hard proof.

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Remember, everyone is entitled to their own views, opinions, religious beliefs, etc. Having a different view from you does not necessarily mean the other person is wrong, nor does it mean you are wrong either. It is like that "what color is the dress" mania that went around online a couple years ago. In those such cases, remember, it is ok to agree to disagree.

It is ok to reserve judgement until more facts are brought to light.
It is ok to accept that not every body thinks the same as you, and that is a good thing.
It is ok to realize that yes, there are hateful, evil people in the world, but every person you encounter online and disagree with over one or two issues is not the enemy.

You know nothing about their everyday life. Throwing insults and speculation about their life, family, education, or beliefs does nothing to support your argument. All, it does is increase the divide and guarantee that person will refuse to listen to any opinion or thought you have because you have predicated it with hate. If you want to change someone's mind or get them to think of other options you must approach from a place of good will, not hate.

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Further, once you've made your statements don't expect an immediate "OMG you're right, I was so wrong!" revelatory statement. Most people need time to digest what they've been told, shown, or heard. They need to time to mull it over and hold it up against their previous beliefs before they come to the conclusion to change their mind. Give them that time, or lose them forever. If peace and unity is what you really want, it is time we all start adjusting how we interact with others who have different views of the world than our own.

Stop being so cruel and hateful to each other. Learn to listen and realize that the more we continue to bicker, fight, and hate each other, the greater the divide in this country, and the faster this nation will fall. Should that happen, we all will suffer.

In the words of the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow, "Stop blowing holes in my ship!" America, is our ship. It is time we start taking care of it, of each other, instead of seeing who can blow it apart with the biggest holes of malcontent and hateful stubbornness.

~Sierra Sugar