I have been so lucky since I started this blog, that I have not yet, touch wood (he says tapping his head), received any negative or condemning comments or responses to any of my posts or comments, on either my posts or other bloggers posts.
I say this because this week my two biggest supporters have faced criticism and nasty comments, one has received them from a relative stranger and the other from a so-called friend, my prayers go out to both of my friends in the hope that they rise above this and continue blogging and supporting our fellow bloggers.
I am full believer in freedom of speech, after all our ancestors fought for our freedom and right to an opinion. We all have a right to our own opinion, we all like different things, we all find interest in different activities, we are all so different, therefore our opinions and interpretations will inevitably differ, that’s what makes the world interesting.
But our opinions are all equally valid, that’s why we have a right to them. We all have free will, we all have choices, even God doesn’t interfere with our free will, he lets us make our choices and find our own way, but He is always there to forgive and pick up the pieces when we make the wrong ones.
So does anyone have the right to force their opinion on anybody else, well I believe categorically that is a NO!
I wasn’t born into a Christian family, in such that their roots were a Christian background but they were never practising Christians, but I was brought up on certain principles that followed the laws of the land, which ultimately are based on the Bible and good Christian beliefs.
I was brought up to respect others and if I couldn’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything. That isn’t always the easiest thing to do, we all bite sometimes and say things we don’t mean, we often reflect on what we’ve said and realise the mistake of our words and wish we could take them back.
My opinion at the end of the day is mine, it really is only valid to me, why should I force it upon someone else, what makes my opinion more important than that of my friends or even my enemies?
The answer is nothing, they have I right to theirs and I have a right to mine!
I am more than willing to listen to other people’s opinions, as long as they are voicing them and not forcing them upon me, I will listen to their opinion and analyse it against my own, if I find that I agree, then so be it that is my choice. If I don’t agree then I simply choose to accept that is their opinion and I have mine, that’s it, simple, we move on in life, we carry on as normal, no harm done.
When someone tries to force their opinion on me again, I have the choice whether to listen or not, sometimes I just don’t listen I let them talk over me, generally I listen and simply dismiss it, at others times I have cut people off or I just change the conversation. Again if I choose to listen I will analyse it and compare it against my own.
There are occasions when I feel that the opinions of others are greatly floored and really they are being led wrongly, I try to state my opinion to them and leave them with the choice, but I won’t force my opinion, I don’t generally argue unless I really feel I am wronged, if it is simply a question of opinion, rather than action, I will leave it at that, leave it at a differing of opinion and move on.
The bible tells us about the planting of seeds, it is stated in Luke 8 that Jesus tells the parable of the sower, to be careful where you sow the seed of God’s word, to ensure that the roots take firmly in good soil for them to grow in God’s word and “hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience”, but I also think there is something else here as well, something that I think is key to sowing correctly to your fellow humans.
If you talk to me about your beliefs and leave it at that, it allows me to take it in and think about, then later down the path we may talk about it again, I can take in a little more and consider that too, eventually I may take it in and come to agree with you, but I will not if you just throw everything you have at me all in one go.
As stated when an opinion is forced upon me, I honestly tend not listen, some of their opinion goes in, but I just carry on with my life and carrying my own opinion. If they continue, then their opinion or seed falls all in one place, their seed just drops in one big pile, I may be good soil, but if you just pile your seeds in one large pile, they simply won’t grow, no matter how good the earth is.
So this goes back to the parable in a way, sow your seeds on good earth, but all good farmers spread their seeds out along the field of good soil, not just in one pile, they sow plentiful, but spread them out so each seed has a full chance to take root and grow, in that way when you look back upon that field there will be a large healthy crop, otherwise a pile of seeds will remain, just a pile of seeds.
When my life fell apart and Gareth my Pastor came to see me, when we sat down the first thing he was at pains to say was that, this meeting was not about God or religion, it was about me getting the help I needed to sort out my problems. During the evening he mentioned one passage from the Bible, we talked briefly about God and he asked if he could pray for me, which I agreed to, I had a choice, it wasn’t forced upon me. Because he took this slowly, slowly approach throughout the evening I became intrigued and eventually asked questions, to which I was given honest answers and left to think about them. Nothing that evening was forced upon me, but because of Gareth’s manor and approach, I found myself questioning my own beliefs and opinions, I was given time and space to consider and let the seed grow, then as you know a few days later I started praying, then I quit drinking a week later, then started attending Gareth’s Church, life from that day has been so different, I am completely changed by the one night.
But it could have been so different, if he had tried to force God and religion on me, labelled me a sinner and demanded I do such and such to in order to redeem myself, I am sure I would have turned the other cheek once again and continued with my life of self-destruction.
Faith is of course everybody’s choice, we all have a choice whether to choose faith or not, I won’t force my faith onto anybody else, just like I won’t force my opinion, I will talk about my faith and my journey with God and what he has done for my life, that is then their choice whether to accept my opinion on faith and question it further or dismiss it and carry on with their life, if I keep talking about it over time, they may eventually accept it for their own, but that is their choice, it’s their free will, but my seeds will have a better chance if they are sowed evenly spread, not just thrown in there in one big pile.
So all I ask is that people who read my posts and comments, consider my writings and my opinions, if they choose to disagree, then I don’t mind people stating their opinion for me to consider, but please do not force it on me, don’t try to force an argument, by all means state your believes and leave it at that, don’t get derogatory or abusive, there is honestly no need for it, we are both entitled to state our opinions, it’s our own free will and our right.
I know this is a bit of a ramble and really it is not my argument to fight, but as much as I dislike opinions forced upon me, I don’t like them forced upon my friends either, it is disrespectful and rude, please if you feel the need to state your opinion to someone else, do it with dignity and out of concern for your friend, not out of the need to empower yourself.
The days you said you were smarter
We knew you were harder
And the days, you told us to grow up,
Told us to shut up, they’re over
But I promise the words that you said,
Stuck in our heads
They’ll come back to haunt you,
To taunt you
Keep you from sleeping, keep you from eating
(Cottenmouth (jargon) by Seabird)