Don’t Make Enemies Out Of Friends…

(Source of photo:

Simply because you disagree with them.

Our seemingly bitter political bifurcation today is a direct result of more and more people taking their political ideologies too much to heart. Anything or anyone who challenges their ideology, even if respectfully proffered, is viewed as a personal affront rather than honest discourse.

It would be nice if the discord stopped at Democrat vs Republican or conservative vs liberal, but it doesn’t.

If you are a fan of a particular sports team, fans of the rival team will view you as a hostile invader of their personal space (I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, but have lifelong friends who are Washington Redskins fans).

Far too many people today seem to take almost any disagreement they have with another person to heart, to the point where they view those who are not like-minded as an enemy to be disparaged, if not literally destroyed (see any mass shooter for an example).

I have my theories as to why many of us are behaving this way. Chief among those theories is the anonymity of the internet, in my opinion.

On the internet, people can say what they want in anonymous echo chambers and constantly feed their confirmation biases. Outside of internet forums, these same people feel empowered to replicate their online behavior offline in the real world.

This is not good, to say the least.

Putting a strain on, or even ending a friendship or family relationship is a detriment not only to the individual, but to society when it happens on a large scale and for such petty reasons. Polarization in a society is fertile ground for political charlatans to plant their nefarious agendas.

The Aristotle quote in my introductory blog post is particularly poignant with regard to this kind of behavior…

It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.

I think it is the height of idiocy to consider those with whom you disagree to be persons worthy of excommunication or considered an enemy.

People who polarize their thoughts this way unknowingly undermine their own happiness. Some of my best experiences in life are discussing topics with people who passionately, but respectfully disagree with me. I welcome having my beliefs challenged, if for no other reason than to test them under rational scrutiny.

Contrary to popular belief, debates are supposed to be enlightening experiences where ideas are exchanged and thoughtfully considered on their own merits.

Words meant to persuade and educate, even if you disagree philosophically or ideologically, hold far more value than words meant to inculcate or incite.

One must consistently guard against having their beliefs regularly challenged out of fear of those beliefs being shattered because they might be exposed as illusions rather than a solid belief system. Solid belief systems are based on reality and solid data and usually stand up to scrutiny.

The only way to grow is to be open-minded.

Keep your third eye open.

Your third eye is your mind and out of necessity, it should always be open.

(Source of photo:

-The Rational Ram

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