I fully support your right to protest! (As long as I agree with it!)

Is this the crossroads where we now find ourselves as human beings and as a society?


I fully support your right to protest!
(As long as I agree with it)

As far back as the two of us can probably remember, there have always been protests. I also remember that there have always been those who agreed with them and those who disagreed. Now however, the sparks that ignite division seem so much more intense.

There are those who are protesting AGAINST their schools, Flag burning, Governments, a war, a social injustice, someone’s death, a Confederate Monument and sadly many more.

There are also those protesting FOR their schools, Flag burning, Governments, a war, a social injustice, a Confederate Monument, etc.

No matter your side on these issues, it is often easy to overlook, confuse, misinterpret or even turn a blind eye to the real reasons or focus of those protesting on the opposite side. We might not like how they’re going about it or what they have to say, where they’re saying it etc. sometimes we allow anger to think for us. Passion can sometimes be a double edged sword and it seldom shows that more clearly than during a protest.
Just as it’s their right to protest (within certain bounds of safety etc.) it’s our right to agree with them or not and voice our own opinions. (Again, within certain bounds.) 
For instance, anytime a matter of patriotism or military service arises, quite often I’m conflicted depending on my opinion of the situation. I think of myself as an incredibly patriotic man! I was handed my father’s flag at his funeral, I can’t count the number of men and women who are my friends who have been, or are in service to their country, in one way or another. I’m talking about the Military, Teachers, Doctors, Fire Fighters, Nurses, Police Officers and those who can never tell us their jobs. (But I’m so glad they are doing it!) Sadly, I’m also hard pressed to list those who have lost their lives while fighting for our absolute right to protest. I know from our conversations that they didn’t agree with some of those things. Sometimes seeing the protests made them absolutely livid and I felt the same way! But, instead of allowing my ego to rule the day and close my mind, I want to use my passion to explain how I feel and why, instead of pointing a finger, chastising and insulting someone else who I disagree with.

Let’s revisit my initial thought…

I fully support your right to protest!
(As long as I agree with it)

If this is where you’re at, where we as a society is at, then it’s both sad and dangerous. I think that if we consider it though, this isn’t where we’re at. Sure, there are some things that people might be for that almost anyone can find themselves on the other side of. (ISIS, Racism, Human Trafficking or bigotry to name a few.) For the others though, so often if we put our ego and passion in check for a moment, we might find that “their” protest has given us an opportunity. We now can explain who we are, how we feel, what we want, etc. all while understanding that we are on different sides of a sometimes volatile issue, not mortal enemies on the battlefield.

So I’m gonna change this up a bit…

I fully support your right to protest!
(And I fervently hope that you agree with mine)

I’m going to respect even those I disagree with!
(Sometimes, I don’t have to like it, I just have to do it.)

Then, I’m going to do my best to make my life, town, state, country and world a better place.

Sometimes I will succeed.

Sometimes I will fail.

I will do my best to not only recognize those I disagree with, but marvel at the places, things and most notably, the people who are going about life in a positive way. And yes, from time to time, I will also do my best to place my ego and my passion in check.
Thank you for giving my thoughts your extremely valuable time and consideration. I want you to know that I am so grateful to you.