Have respect for the opinions of others

Ben Leman, Columnist

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Let me start by laying out right now that I respect people’s opinions.  It is a person’s right to express how he or she feels on certain subjects, ideas and values.

It seems, however, that people do not always feel the same way, especially in today’s culture.

People nowadays are too sensitive of others’ opinions and respond in a negative way toward the opposing opinion.

From a military standpoint, the Army has taught me to grow a thick skin.  Criticism is a natural part of my job, and I have to be able to stand up and admit, “Yes, I am wrong, but I will fix it.”  It has taught me to accept defeat but to bounce back.  The Army also taught me how to take a joke.  But if a joke cut too deep, stand up and tell them, “Hey, dial it back a bit.”

Life goes beyond college and school.  You will not always have a safe space or the opportunity to quit when someone tells you something you do not want to hear. Now, please do not take what I said the wrong way. I do not have a problem with safe spaces, and bigotry and hate have no place with me.  Everyone is entitled to what they believe in.  Who am I to judge your beliefs?

Bottom line, if you have a problem with what someone says then tell them. Tell them upfront and face-to-face.

A letter or email will not change anything, and an “angry reaction” on Facebook certainly will not fix the issue.

However, if you have a problem with what someone says or believes in, either let it go or talk to them in a calm matter. Going at someone all angry and flustered just makes you look like a fool. Mutual respect is key, especially in the work environment.  There can be a time and place to throw hands later.

But what if someone does not like how you dress?  In that case, who cares? You dress the way you want to. What if someone says you are stupid for liking Lil’ Pump? So what, listen to what you want. People today are so wrapped up in thinking their beliefs are the gold standard. They try so hard to make other people feel bad about what someone believes in.

Truthfully, life is not nice. People are mean and you have to get over the fact that not everyone will like you. Why bother with trying to please everyone? Grow up and walk on.

This does not mean go out and be a jerk to everyone.  Remember, mutual respect is key. But, be the bigger person and walk away. Being “triggered” and sad about a negative comment will not solve anything.

Ben Leman is a junior journalism major.  He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]