You don’t like it, now what?

rhinoceros

What do you do when someone does something you don’t like, don’t agree with or disapprove of? How do you handle this situation? Right or wrong, I have my own preference, you can decide if it has any merit.

Everyone has an opinion and, thanks to the internet and the prevalence of social media, their opinion gets to take centre stage. This is a doubled-edged sword and it can go just as wrong as it does right.

A popular opinion is not the same as being right. Thanks to this magnificent digital world we live in, popular opinions gain traction far more quickly than common sense can keep up. I know I can schedule my email, so that if I write something confrontational or controversial, I can save it for later before sending it on its way.

Sometimes I think we need that feature as a default setting on all social media platforms. Well, that and a feature that simply blocks nonsensical posts by default – but I don’t think the Artificial Intelligence is quite at that point yet.

Back to the topic at hand.

We all have things we do differently, like differently, are attracted to differently or simply how we live differently. There’s a wide spread of similarity between all of us, but there are just as many differences – but the variety of these differences make them seem less than the standard.

When it comes to things like religion, sexuality, lifestyle, even things like smoking, tattoos and types of food, there are things we personally enjoy – or that we definitely don’t like. Now some of these things are choices and some of them are a part of the fabric of who we are, they simply aren’t about a conscious choice.

How you handle it, depends on the impact. Someone’s religion has no impact on my life – unless they choose to force it into my life. The same applies to their sexual orientation. If they aren’t insisting I join them in church or the boudoir then irrespective of my personal opinions on the matter it affects my life not at all and I can simply leave them to get on with their lives as they see fit.

The same applies to so many other things, I use the example of tattoos. Personally they are not my thing at all, even though some people wear them well, and they are not a even remotely on my to-do list. Despite this opinion anyone get a tattoo or covering every inch of their body in tattoos can do so without any criticism at all from me – because what they choose to do is entirely up to them and my input is not needed.

The only point where my opinion is required is when someone’s life choices impacts on my life, to my detriment. When you impact the lives of others with your choices then you are no longer making decision for yourself, you are making decisions for them too.

Give that some thought the next time you find yourself with an opinion on someone else – or take a decision which affects the lives of others. It is easy to have something to say, but is it necessary?

On a final note, but staying on topic (slightly). I do not enjoy liquorice, not even a little bit. One man in Massachusetts, however, did enjoy it – a whole lot. So much enjoyment was derived from eating the stuff that he ate a bag-and-a-half of liquorice every day for a number of weeks. This daily practise saw him exposed to a whole lot of glycyrrhizic acid, a substance which bumps blood pressure up, causes low potassium and creates an imbalance in electrolytes. Ultimately this is what killed him.

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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