Feels so good to finally be updating the blog after more than a week, especially as I’ve actually been itching to write. It would seem that studying, applying for jobs, and other little things kept me busy, but looking back, I can’t seem to really recall why I was actually busy. Maybe it’s dementia or an utter lack of awareness to anything other than Jelly Splash (A game that I swear is more addictive than crack and even, dare I say it, Candy Crush; apologies for all the FB requests). But I do recall one event, which I thought would be just thought provoking enough to write about.
A couple of days ago in class, I was presenting on legalising same-sex marriage relating to public policy options. I definitely saw the task of defending same-sex marriage as a natural position and didn’t anticipate much of a debate for after. Needless to say, I seriously underestimated the number of conservative people in my class. Fast forward a couple of not-subtle-enough eye-rolls and rude interceptions later, I found myself actually verbally attacking this woman.
To credit myself a little, she did say something that was void of any rationality and would make every liberal lobby for lax gun control just so that they can buy one and shoot themselves in the head. But I think I said things like: “that is a grotesque thing to say” and “it doesn’t follow any logic reasoning”. Afterwards, I saw another student who had wanted to say something earlier about her conservative views just looking down at her paper. It made realise that I was actually being intolerant. I was being intolerant of her choices my believing that she was being intolerant. What.
This got me thinking: is it okay to be intolerant of people’s views even when you’re defending what you think is right? Unfortunately, in the state of today’s world, homosexuality is still a debated issue (although this statement might be contradicting my next point), so it means that we have to accommodate to the fact that people have different opinions. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t disagree and try to advocate what we think is right – it’s just the way that we go about it. I do feel badly about my attitude and feel that my complete conviction on this issue or any other should not compromise basic decency.
And today when I was talking about it with someone who had told me he did not agree with it either, I said: “that breaks my heart”; he replied with: “it’s just how I feel”. He’s right in believing what he does. I tried to not jump to any conclusions about his cultural or religious background; just that a number of circumstances in his life makes him feel that way, just as mine has. (Even as I'm writing this, I'm still struggling to give even the tiniest bit of leeway to the other side. Wow.)
I’m still on the fence about what constitutes as intolerance – at what point is having a strong opinion acceptable and what point is it abrasive? What do you guys think?