I’m not afraid to…

…piss people off.

Hi, good morning. Hope you are enjoining some coffee or your preferred beverage of choice.

OK so let me explain my thought process on this. No, not the beverage thing…my stance on pissing people off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just indiscriminately looking for people to piss off with mindless personal attacks. I’m just saying I am not scared to speak my mind and when I see something I perceive as wrong or a debatable topic, I don’t hold back. I may temper my opinions in a diplomatic turn of phrase but you can usually tell where my point/opinion is going.

Some of you in your minds are saying: here we go pointless drama. Nope. No ma’am, no sir. I am not here to spread gossip to pile on someone having a bad day just to be a bully. Everyone running around or wheeling around today has positive and negative aspects of their lives. Some are great parents, some lavish love and attention on their animals while others run businesses that provide incomes and purposes for others to provide for their families and loved ones. While I can try to find the silver lining in many different human clouds, there is always the ying to their yang.

I’m guessing at this point you are trying to discern a point that may take shape coming from the above fog. I am flawed and at times I am an internal mess. But aint we all? The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously and be true with your actions and words. If you see something that emotionally or mentally goes against your grain, you can do a couple of things. First you can ignore it and remove yourself from the situation and go binge watch GOT episodes. If you feel you must have your voice be heard (either literally or figuratively), think first.

Sometimes another human or an issue can cause such a visceral response that we lash out without thinking. Like when I’m on the highway and I see aggressive drivers switching lanes without blinkers or cutting people off when they could have just as easily have slowed down and settled in behind another car. My list of hated traffic grievances is about on par with the proverbial list of naughty boys and girls Santa has to deal with.

Animal abuse, child punishments, softball drama, social media, my Cleveland Indians and long car trips are just a handful of things I have a strong opinion on and my views may not be all unicorns, cotton candy and smiley emoji’s to the casual reader. Is my position the end all be all of opinions? Certainly not but I will do my best to state my case as to why I think that way about a topic. Have I launched into a tirade before about my opinion only to have someone chime in later with some bit of information I wasn’t privy to? Guilty. Did it radically change my stance? Not really but I filed that addition information away to be digested and further flavor my viewpoint.

Most everyone is so wrapped up in being ‘right’ that they lose sight of the spirit of exchanging ideas. Most people when they express their opinions, whether in the majority or minority, are on the razor’s edge for rebuttals. Expressing a dissenting opinion is on par with attacking that person’s most cherished loved one. One of my most favorite quotes I saw on Twitter said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote is attributed to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. That quote is an ugly truth. I myself am guilty of this about half of the time. It happens when I argue with Kristi or Ayden or a co-worker or a softball friend or on my Sports Stalkers podcast partner Jeremy. We as a society are conditioned to be put on the spot and come up with a quip or an answer to prove our wittiness or competency. So much in our daily lives is submerged in self-doubt and competition, so we must be seen as competent at the bare minimum. And in the panic of the moment when we might possibly lose, we resort to snarkyness and name-calling in lieu of stopping and thinking about the basis of our opinions and how it may be colored by our life experiences as opposed to someone from a completely different background.

Take racism and discrimination for example. And no they are not exclusively the same thing. Discrimination is denying someone or a group based on extraneous circumstances that have no bearing on the criteria needed. Some of the biggest racists I know are the ones who play the race card. In my life I have known some people of color who have been the perpetrators of discrimination. There are no absolutes in this world when it comes to discrimination and racism. There are black people who are racist against white people and vice versa. Just as there are people of all ages who are discriminatory against other age groups.

See no name calling, no gross stereo-types and a note that I myself am not 100% above reproach here (see the listening quote). There is nothing wrong with absorbing and dissecting someone else’s opinion or view. The sticky-wicket is when we start questioning that person’s view and instead of listening to understand what we are asking, they are loading up mentally to respond based on a basal reaction to a perceived challenge.

Enough psychology for one day. I was just trying to simply offer up my ‘excuse’ on why I feel OK about sounding off with my thoughts and opinions even if you do not care. We all have a back story on our opinions. Did your parents instill that view in you? Perhaps your church? Or just life experiences? That is for each of us to carry around with us every day and decide if we are comfortable enough to share and if need be, defend as needed.

As usual, thank you for surfing in and reading some bits and pieces that migrated from my brain to my fingers. I hope you found something amusing, thought provoking or at least something that caused you to stop for a moment to at least consider.

Haffy Hump Day! That is a cross breed of Happy and Taffy just so you don’t think I am a horrible speller!

Peace.

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