While watching the news coverage of the terrorist attack at the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in France, my first thought was of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees Americans five freedoms to express their beliefs and opinions.
My mind then went to my fellow Six Mile Post staff members, and I asked myself, “Could people really resort to violence just because someone wrote, drew or said something that they didn’t agree with?”
I quickly realized that this happens all the time. Frequently I see or hear of people having arguments and someone getting injured as a result. The result of the argument may not always lead to death, but it could lead to a black eye, a broken nose, a busted lip or bruises.
My older brother and I disagreed sometimes while we were growing up. We didn’t get “pushy” often, but when we did, our parents quickly stepped in. They always said, “There isn’t any reason for you two to be pushing and shoving. It’s okay to disagree.”
Our mom and dad made sure to let us know that since we were two completely different people we were going to have different likes and dislikes.
Even today my brother and I disagree, but instead of kicking, pushing or throwing punches, we decide to “agree to disagree” and move on.
Violence is not going to solve anything. It is not going to change his mind on the topic or my mind. We are still going to feel different ways.
People are not going to have the same views and that is perfectly okay.
Since we are not carbon copies of each other, we shouldn’t fault someone for having a different opinion.