I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for what seems like hours, just staring at the space I wish to fill with words. There is so much going on right now in our world, so to say that I have nothing to write about would be a false statement. President Obama’s inauguration happened just a few days ago and the world is buzzing over his speech. Manti Te’o and Lance Armstrong are still dominating the news as new details are being brought to light. The issue of gun control is a hot topic, especially with the recent injuries at a Texas college. The snow in Indiana is putting huge smiles on the faces of meteorologists and making plenty of drivers irritated or idiotic. Personally, I’m doing a bit of battle with my bank over some insane fees and have not had anything resolved yet despite my efforts over the last three days. I have a ton I could talk about.
The problem is, I’m tired. Not physically, but mentally tired and fed up with the constant stream of nonsense that is fed to me on a daily basis. I an exhausted by the voices of people who have the power to actually fix the issue in question, but who instead choose to rant and rave about it in order to stir the pot and get the crowd stirring. I’m weary of listening to opinions coming from people who are either too undereducated to speak on the issue or who wrongly assume they know much more than they do. It seems that for every one person who can phrase things properly and who has a valid point, there are fifty people waiting in the wings and ready to give you a migraine with their nonsense.
I’m definitely not the resident expert on everything that is currently on my radar, but expertise isn’t really necessary in order to present a valid argument or intelligent opinion. No one needs to break out a thesaurus and dictionary in order to impress with their vast vocabulary, and no one needs to flash a diploma in order to be taken seriously. Intellect is not what is lacking, it’s common sense and respect that is absent. Your level of education means nothing when your best comeback is laced with profanity and does nothing but call your opposition a loser or a douchebag.
I happen to be against strict gun laws, for example, and I know well and good that a large group of people will disagree with one or more areas of my viewpoint. I have absolutely no issue with that in itself; it is important for this world to have a diverse group of opinions, especially when it comes to finding a proper solution to a problem. What exhausts me is that I will express my view on gun control and get back “you’re stupid,” “this is dumb,” or “you’re wrong” in response. All right, I will accept that I’m wrong, now tell me why. Tell me why my view is stupid and incorrect. Tell me why your view is superior. Give me something to work with other than the vague insult to my intelligence and I’ll be happy.
You see this kind of arguing everywhere. In sports, for example, if someone doesn’t like a particular player but that player has skills, their insult will be “____ SUCKS!” Nevermind the fact that the person obviously does not suck since they are a top player, this insult is thrown out there because the speaker simply can’t come up with anything better. They don’t have a valid argument or anything concrete to back up their statement. They go to the playground-style insults because that is all they can throw out there. You can strike up a conversation if the insulter targeted a specific skill set or brought up stats. You can’t do much with “you suck” other than shake your head and move on with your day.
I don’t want to live in a nation of stupid people, but that is exactly where I am. The truly intelligent are being outnumbered by those, regardless of IQ, who become children at the first sign of a disagreement or difference of opinion. Rather than take a minute and give a response that makes sense, people are happier to leave scathing comments at the bottom of news articles, take to forums to bash the opposition, or engage in social media wars where the goal is to make the other side look bad instead of properly presenting your opinion and being heard by whatever audience is listening.
About a year ago, I had a lovely person visit my blog and read an entry about my lack of faith in the Christian God. It was by far the best interaction I have ever had with someone who disapproved of my choice to be an Atheist. There was no pressure to change, no forcing anything down my throat, and no insults or name calling. I got to hear their experience with faith, their struggles to believe, and their hope that I may change my mind one day. That interaction gave me back a lot of faith in humanity. It was respectful, informative, and even educational. It is also an unfortunately rare occurrence, as I am generally just told I’m wrong when I reveal my Atheism to a believer, but it gave me hope that there are good people out there who can disagree with you and who can argue their side without resorting to 4th grade tactics.
Like it or not, we’re all stuck on this Earth together until the bitter end, so we may as well learn to get along a bit better. Go ahead and be angry that Obama was given a second term, but don’t just throw out black jokes and tell me he’s a crappy President. Give me SOMETHING! Anything! Throw out a policy of his that you don’t like or remind me of a promise he made and broke. Have fun with the jokes, but have something substantial to bring to the table along with the fluff and nonsense. Do something more than just rattle off a list of people and things who SUCK, even if it’s something small. Take advantage of the brain encased in your skull and put it to work once in a while.