Saturday, December 4, 2021

Sharing opinions is capable of developing a friendship

Finally, I have found someone who disagrees with me and is willing to speak up.

A guy from Byron called in a week ago last Friday. He left a message that he would like to see a variety of opinion on the opinion page. Apparently, the opinions and political cartoons are a bit too conservative for him.

He left his name and phone number. I got around to calling him last Tuesday morning. He sounded a bit surprised that I would call him.

I listened to his comments, which included that he may have to find his news elsewhere. (Which is his prerogative.)

However, after he was done outlining the gist of his complaint, I began to question his perspective (it was obvious he was more liberal than I am) but he acknowledged that he was of the liberal bent.

I suggested that he write his thoughts down and we’d publish them in the DCI. He was not willing to make that commitment (not because he didn’t have the words to say), but because the chairman of the board (his wife) would object.

At that point the conversation got interesting. His wife, Anne, was more conservative and they’d been married for more than 40 years and he was not going to jeopardize that relationship over political speech. (Smart man.)

I encouraged him to talk with the chairman of the board and convince her that I would welcome opposing points-of-view to my opinions. That is what makes the give and take of the opinion page more interesting.

Before we ended that conversation, I thanked him for calling and stating his point-of-view. It was refreshing to speak with someone who did not sound angry or vindictive. I had made a friend.

In fact, I invited him to stop at the office and I’d buy lunch or ice cream from Clem’s Cups & Cones, which is right next door.

What amazed me about that conversation was the caller’s anticipation that I would not allow an opposing view point to be heard, much less willing to publish anything he was willing to write.

Have we, as a society, lost all perspective? Carrying on a civil conversation with someone of an opposing train of thought should not end in anger. Rather, we should seek out people who do disagree with our point of view. We should listen to them, respond and agree to disagree.

Please feel free to opine at any time on any subject, whether it’s something states on the opinion page of the DCI or other source. Seriously, whether you’re a bleeding heart liberal or a staunch, rabid conservative, I welcome your comments.

To my new friend in Byron, thank you!

 

OPINION

When we are young we generally estimate an opinion by the size of the person that holds it, but later we find that is an uncertain rule, for we realize that there are times when a hornet's opinion disturbs us more than an emperor's.

Mark Twain

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Dodge County Independent

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