Bias?

This happened to me earlier in the day and I’ve been letting it settle into my head before I actually made a post about it. Now I think I can intelligently blog about it without sounding like a self righteous idiot.

I don’t quite get the idea of bashing for the sake of bashing any side of any argument and believing that only your side is correct. I’ve talked before on Facebook about my disbelief of bringing something up in public and not actually wanting it discussed. I also just don’t get not wanting to hear any differing opinion.

Is it so hard to look at a different viewpoint of something? I often try to look at someone else’s opinion or view before I dismiss or discount it. I like to hear how other people view something, knowing it might be completely opposite to how I see things. I can’t say it’ll ever change my opinion, but is it so hard to give that respect to even fully read what someone else has said? Even knowing how things might be with the person who I had an issue with today, completely discounting her… I’ve seen so many times where someone will read the first sentence or two, or maybe even just a few words, and then ‘see what they want’ rather than reading what is actually been said.

Is this a fault of our online culture? Without body language, facial cues or having to look someone in the eye, do we just make assumptions of what the other person is actually saying, rather than reading what they’ve written down? Have we, as a people, become so closed minded that we lump everyone into groups that might or might not be accurate? Is this fair?

I think each of us are individuals. I know my general slant on things, I know I am biased in my beliefs, but I’ve come by that honestly. I decide on things not from what others tell me, but from how I feel on things. I could call myself a “conservative” when it comes to politics, but not all things to I agree with that group of folks. In fact, there are a lot of things I think the opposite. I vote for a candidate when it comes to that time, not a party. If a candidate says one thing but their record (actions, voting or otherwise) says another, I’m going to view them accordingly. As someone wise once said, “Talk is cheap.”

I think labels have really gotten out of control, and I think we would do best to look at the individual and what they actually act like and believe rather than assuming based on one or two things we know about that person. Some of my best friends feel very differently than I do on many issues, but I still count them as very close friends and don’t treat them differently (or at least try not to) because of those views. I often times learn from them. Another person’s way of seeing something can actually help us see something that we don’t see because of our own circumstances.

For example, I don’t tend to think of a parents’ point of view. I don’t have kids, I’m not close to kids and don’t think of the issues that might be present in the life of someone that has kids. In the same way, many people might not understand my thoughts of pets in their life. To some, it’s just an animal. To us, they are more than that. And then there are people that can see both sides and live both sides.

We’re all different. We’re not cookie cutter people, and that’s what makes the world go around.

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