I'm going to go ahead and say this now; I wasn't always the most respectful person in the world. I stood up for what I believed in but never took into account how someone else might feel about it or how it might affect them in the long run. I was relentless and often times disrespectful, until I realized what that could do to someone. Words can hurt regardless of what one might think.
It didn't occur to me that being ruthless about something doesn't always equate to passion; sometimes it's just as bad as the hate people throw towards you, the hate you're fighting against in the first place. I don't know when my opinion on the matter changed or when it clicked for me, but I'm glad it did. But the problem I face now, with my new found outlook on respect, is not everyone follows the same code. It makes me cringe, you know, to see people be so damn hateful towards one another when there are better ways of going about it.
There are so many topics in this world that spark controversy and one of the biggest is one that I am a huge advocate for; The LBGT community. I believe with my entire heart that those apart of this community deserve equality. I always have, always will. But it kills me to see how much hatred there is towards the subject and how it always turns into a battle, a war, everyone is always out for blood and that's not how it should be.
It doesn't matter what you believe, you should always maintain some level of respect while addressing any topic whether it be LBGTQ, abortion, religion of any sort, war, whatever it may be. Respect is the key to communication, in my opinion. I can't have a solid and effective conversation with someone who is only saying things, and directing their argument in a way to hurt, not inform. And I can't respect someone who sleeps well at night knowing that they're way of proving a point is to place blame or direct hurt.
People wonder what the issue is with society. And they wonder how it is that we are all so divided on so many things, and to me it's because we allow this level of disrespect to continue.
Some people thing that I'm spineless or scared because I refused to engage in an argument with those only out for blood. If someone is saying something horrid on social media, especially something I posted, I delete it or remove myself from that post because it's not worth the pain later on, because if I know anything it's that controversy sparks hurtful words and I'm just not going to waste my time with it. I hate the feeling of being angry, actually I despise it. It's all consuming and it literally makes me physically ill, so I avoid it at any cost because I don't want to experience it. What's the point, after all? Is this conversation I'm about to engage in worth the full body shaking, heart racing, chest aching, experience I'm about to face? More than likely it's not. And if it is, you'll know it because I'll actually voice my opinion which is rare when dealing with those that might not respond well.
You might be wondering why I'm wasting your time with some rambling post about respect and I guess it's because sometimes you can't see the way things impact other people until it's right in your face.
Think about the way you say something before you say it.
If you don't agree with something state the facts in an intelligent way, not in a way that is going to sound condescending or hurtful because there's just no point.
If you have something to say about a topic, think about how you would feel had it been directed at you before even opening your mouth because some people take words and the pain the cause worse than other.
I may not be easily offended or hurt by the things that people say, but that doesn't mean there's not a line of people behind me that could hear your conversation or read your post and not be hurting at the sight of it.
You never know what your words will do to someone so please think before you speak. You never know who is listening and who you might reach