Is it a battle? Is it a game? A competition? Five young men in different colored attire raising their wands with energy and passion. No one looks to be injured but if wands were opinions we could hear the noise. When we are so engrossed in our individual expressions how can we hear what the other people have to say? For a civil society, what good can come from that? The message here is a support of diversity. When we are truly confident in our opinions we don’t feel threatened by differences and can allow for a frank and easy sharing. After all, the end game isn’t to get others to necessarily agree with your opinion but rather to have them hear you express it. They are free to make their own decisions as you are free to make yours.
Everybody has an opinion and each of us wants to be heard. But if we’re all talking at once we can’t be heard and we can’t hear others. It’s time to play like the grownups in the room. Free speech is only free if we act with civility. How about we agree to let each person speak. Then, even before the discourse begins, we won’t act in fear and feel the need to rush in and voice our expressions. We will go around the room in an orderly fashion confident in the knowledge that we will be heard and we will hear others. Conflict has no place in mindful expression. You can be true to your position and appreciate diversity. Who knows, you might learn something new or change your mind!