curve
curve

Contents

Home

Weblog Archive

My CV

Contact me

Essays

Tagwall

Links

curve
curve
curve
curve

Links

My us and them entry

best blond joke ever

Lyn's site

Lynrock

curve
curve
curve
curve
Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.1! rss 2.0 feed atom 0.3 feed
curve
curve
One shouldn't let politics get in the way of building a friendship

Something really cool happened yesterday which I want to record as an example to others. After posting yesterday's blog entry, I went back to facebook. The debate thread I was adding to was still getting replies, but things were getting increasingly heated and I was getting more and more angry. My fellow responders didn't seem to be listening to what I was saying, and in my fury I was getting increasingly arrogant and wild. I went too far, saying things I perhaps ought not have. Things got so bad, and I was getting so frustrated, that I decided to contact one of them directly: maybe I could defuse the situation, calm things down and explain where I was coming from. But that just made things worse: I could not make him see the utter folly of leaving the EU, and I was getting more and more pissed off.

It reached a point where my heart was pounding in my chest so hard and fast I could feel it. My typing was becoming more and more erratic; at one point my caps lock got stuck on. This lead the guy to ask, quite understandably, whether I had taken any drugs. In desperation I showed him my blog entry.

At that point things suddenly changed. He read my entry and said he understood. From then on the tone of our discourse altered completely: things calmed down, and we began to chat. He said he understood my frustrations, suggesting that I tried to calm down. He took the time to explain where he was coming from: far from being ignorant, he was a businessman who had travelled extensively throughout Europe, and had heard arguments from both sides. He also told me about his friend's daughter, who had had cerebral palsy but had passed away in her teens.

We continued our chat, off and on, throughout the afternoon and into the evening. It became clear that he was not a monster, an idiot or a bigot. Of course, whenever the EU issue cropped up, we still disagreed. He just didn't see the coming disaster which to the rest of us is now so clear. But, by the end of the day, rather than take issue with such positions, I just let it slide - after all, one shouldn't let politics get in the way of building a friendship.

I think this could be an example for the rest of us. The country is being torn apart by this; every day, the folly of last year's vote becomes clear - currently it's the Irish border issue. Yet that is no reason for forty-eight percent of the country to hate fifty-two percent of it. He was right: we need to come together, stop hating or resenting eachother, and start chatting again.

Comments
No comments yet

Due to a spam infestation, commenting has been temporarily disabled. Contact me if you have something intersting/useful to add, and I may add you comment to my entry (giving credit, of course).