“Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong, Whether I find a place in this world or never belong, I gotta be me.” Those song lyrics written by Walter Marks and recorded by Sammy Davis, Jr. define me to a tee.
Sometimes I feel like a misfit in a go-along-to-get-along, anything and everything goes society. I long for the days when there was a clear distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, and males and females, instead of a muddled mess of confusion.
Back in the day, if an acquaintance asked me, “What are you doing for the weekend?” and I said “I’ll be hanging out with my girlfriend on Saturday,” I did not catch a raised side-eye or feel the need to explain that she is just a friend, who is female. We are not lesbians. I resent that nearly everything today requires clarification to prevent the facts from getting twisted.
“We the people” are expected to climb on the bandwagon and support every non-traditional lifestyle, fad, or fantasy that surfaces. Personally, I would rather walk alone than ride along with those who are playing follow-the-leader.
I know there are others out there who feel as I do and they are not afraid to admit it. On the other hand, there are some reluctant passengers riding the bandwagon who secretly begrudge their plight. I know this because I know some of them. They fear that being outspoken could bring unwanted repercussions from their relatives and friends, their workplace,or elsewhere. “I may want to run for political office one day,” one friend told me. And then he added, “I don’t want to say or publish something that could come back to haunt me.”
If we nonconformists refuse to sing the praises of the LBGT community, we are accused of being homophobic. Because I do not support someone’s lifestyle does not mean that I hate that person. It simply means that I adhere to my Christian upbringing and personal conviction, and I refuse to pretend otherwise.
Fear of being ostracized has created a nation of cowards who follow the trend, regardless of what they believe. People who refuse to bow to public pressure and are not constantly apologizing for speaking our mind are often unfairly categorized as hateful, judgmental and discriminatory.
If you and I disagree on things it doesn’t mean that I am right, and you are wrong, it simply means that we don’t see eye-to-eye. Public personalities are known for speaking their mind, but when they realize that what they said did not sit well with the bandwagon riders, they issue a “fauxpology.”
Look at some of today’s controversial issues. Should transgenders be allowed to use the restroom of their choice? Should a biological male who had sex reassignment surgery be allowed to participate on a women’s sports team? Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children? You have your feelings about those matters, and I have mine. Whatever your opinion, whether we agree or not, I respect your right to feel the way you do, and I expect you to respect mine. Hopefully, we can express our differences in a manner that is not hostile or mean-spirited.
Mean-spiritedness is a choice, but being judgmental is a character flaw that many of us have. Too many people are afraid to say how they honestly feel because they worry about what other people will think. The Philosopher’s Magazine published the following definition from the Enchanted Learning website, “An opinion expresses someone’s belief, feeling, view, idea, or judgment about something or someone.” If opinions express how a person feels about anything, then we all have an opinion about something, don’t we? Some of you have already formed an opinion about this post. Feel free to post your comments below.
Can’t we honestly communicate how we feel and still be tolerant of the other person’s difference of opinion or should we ignore our true feelings and board the bandwagon heading full-speed toward an Orwellian society?
I believe George Orwell was on point when he wrote, “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” I just exercised that freedom.