Instead Of Fanning The Flames Of The Mask Debate, Let's Start A Conversation About Why We Think Like We Do

Keara Lou Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash

These days, I find myself debating whether or not to deactivate my Facebook and Twitter. I can keep in contact with my family and friends, but I also have to scroll through cesspools of cruelty.

No matter what side of the mask debate people are on, they’re getting vicious. We’re so determined to be right we’re damaging relationships. How is that going to change people’s minds?

Our thinking doesn’t make us the same as everyone else

Believe it or not, some educated people don’t believe in wearing masks. Some uneducated people wear masks. Not everyone who’s pro or anti-mask are being mean to people who don’t agree with them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my social media to be an echo chamber. At the same time, I don’t want to see vicious arguments on my social media every time I sign in.

I don’t want to snooze everyone that doesn’t agree with me. I want to hear why someone doesn’t want to wear a mask. But I don’t want to read an insult-ridden argument for people to get their point across.

Both sides need to be more sensitive towards one another

Instead of resorting to calling people sheep, uneducated, evil, etc. for their choice to wear or not wear a mask, why not take a step back and listen? Why not ask them why they think that way instead of writing them off?

  • Maybe they lost someone to the virus and don’t want anyone else to feel their pain.
  • Maybe they physically can’t wear a mask.
  • Maybe they’re afraid of government overreach.
  • Maybe they’re a nurse and saw the worst of what could happen.
  • Maybe they caught COVID, recovored, and believe they’re immune. The CDC warns we're not immune, but I haven't seen any clear statistic on how likely we are to get it again.
  • Maybe they’re lashing out against masks because it’s another sign we’re not getting back to normal anytime soon.
  • Maybe the pushiness of the government and society is making them not want to do it. The insistence is making them question if things really are as bad as people say they are.

No matter what someone’s reason is for going with or without a mask, you don’t get to insult these people. Even if you don’t like them, for all you know, there is another reason they’re embarrassed to talk about on Facebook. A simple private message can show sensitivity, even if you deeply disagree.

People aren't going to agree with every reason above. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes at some of these reasons. And you can think how you want. It's not my place to tell you if you're right or wrong. As long as you're respectful to my decision about masks, I will be respectful to your decisions regarding masks.

If we keep arguing the way we are now, we’re not going to understand or change one another’s minds. Instead, we’re going to keep hurting one another and refuse to meet halfway. If we keep alienating one another, we’re going to lose voices from different perspectives.

The takeaway

Daryl Davis didn’t convince 200 Klansmen to leave the Ku Klux Klan by calling them names and insulting them. He offered friendship and kindness, and they went on their own.

We have a chance to be like Daryl Davis. No matter what we think. This pandemic brought out the worst in us, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. We still have time to step back from our biases and be more compassionate to people, regardless of whether we agree with them.

We need to be kinder to one another, even if we think someone doesn’t deserve it. A lot of the division we see in this world now is from people who believe anything different is bad. That's not the case. We need people in this world who disagree with us to help strengthen our beliefs.

A lot of us are feeling alone right now and turning to social media to lash out. How about reaching out to someone and asking them why they feel the way they feel. That little bit of kindness will help someone struggling to feel heard.

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I'm a Forever Middle-Child who doesn't have the ability to sit still. I often write about travel, relationships, life, books, food, humor, and life as a fat woman. Women's issues are a passion of mine too. I often write a lot of opinion pieces about what's going on in the world with a little touch of politics. I'll write about anything that comes to mind.

Beaverton, MI

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