This is not a political conversation, but let me setup a scenario to illustrate my point. Like Trump or hate him, everyone has their opinion. We should all be able to respectfully give our opinions and respect the opinions of others. We all know this is not the case when we can hide behind a keyboard. We (the collective we, as I am not a dumb fuckhole who does this) call people racists, bigots, rapists, and many other horrible names without ever meeting these people. I witnessed a man telling a woman, who’s family survived living in Nazi Germany, opposing Hitler, and fleeing to America… I witnessed him calling her a Nazi for the mere fact he thought she voted for Trump. That truly hurt this person and the memory of her family. We refuse to listen to what someone has to say because we feel being right is more important than having an adult conversation. This is not limited to political conversations, but that is not my point.
When we express our opinions, we must prepare to accept those consequences. We must know that not everyone shares our opinion. We must know that our lives might never be the same. We live in a uber connected society. Everything we do is on social media, whether we might know it or not. A woman flips off the president’s motorcade, not realizing the media is behind her with cameras. A football player kneels during the National Anthem. A restaurant refused to serve someone who has a certain political view.
Each of these has their own level of possible reactions. Should the woman who flipped off a president lose her job? I don’t think so. I think that is innocent enough. I have flipped off thousands of people in my day. Should a football player be cut for kneeling? Probably not, but he was cut because his performance sucked donkey dicks, not because he kneeled. Now, if I’m an owner of an NFL team, I don’t care how good of a player you are. If you are going to cause me a fucking headache because I have to deal with your bullshit, I don’t want you on my team. One player does not make up a team. Should a restaurant get a bunch of shit for refusing to serve someone based on their political beliefs? Yes, and here’s why. Granted, the restaurant has the right to support whoever they want; however, we cannot refuse to employ someone based on their political views. That is against the law and discrimination. How is that different than serving them. Refusing to serve someone because of their political views is reminiscent of the 1950s (really, way longer than that, but you get my point) when restaurants refused to serve minorities. Both are considered discrimination. Are we going to have restaurants that only serve liberals or conservatives or socialists or whatever?
In the end, it doesn’t matter. We all have a choice. As a business owner, we know that everything we do will either lose business, gain business, or retain business. With social media, every step we make is put under the microscope of the public. Do we understand how, even the smallest of decisions, will be looked at once it is released into the Facebooks and Twitters jungles? As individuals, do we understand how one misguided comment or action can affect our lives? My fathers and grandmother (his mother) told me, “You might be right, or you might be wrong. Sometimes, it does not matter. Sometimes, it is just better to keep your mouth shut and live to fight another day.” In a world overflowing with opinion, and I am one who is not afraid to give mine, sometimes, it is better to keep our opinions to ourselves and save the headache and fight for another day. Perhaps, save it for a day when it is really needed. When people refuse to listen and have an adult conversation, giving our opinion is almost a waste of energy. That’s just my opinion though.