I need to be nicer to others, and respect their beliefs more

Yes, this post is about me, and written to me. I am putting something in writing as a reminder of how I want to see the world, and as a reminder about respecting differences in opinion. I need to be clear, this is about opinion, not facts. I will still judge people who completely ignore factual information, like the approximate age of the earth, the DNA that we have in common with bacteria, the (sort of) recent rise in global temperatures, etc. Those are facts and, as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

But which candidate you or I like, which person makes you laugh or makes you cry, which person you love or don’t love, which god you believe or don’t believe in…those are not factual decisions. Personally, I don’t believe those are things we have all that much control over. Sure, we can look for information to make us dislike somebody we used to like, so the act of trying to dislike somebody may produce the evidence needed to make that change. But, for the most part, I think we have initial reactions to things for many different reasons, and I think it’s counterproductive, and divisive to say things like, “these people are idiots for liking [fill in the blank].” Saying things like, “you don’t really like [fill in the blank], do you?” fly in the face of appreciating that people are different, and like different things.

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