How To Handle Political Division

March 20, 2016

Are our opinions worth hurting our unity? I would hope the obvious answer is NO, and if it IS, have you ever let one of your opinions or even someone else’s hurt a relationship?

I have.

You will never find someone who agrees with you on everything, but usually, these things are small and we are able to understand Harlan Ellison when he says—

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

Oh wait maybe that’s just me and everyone else is offended by that quote (oops).

But when it comes to other things, say political opinions, are they worth crying over?

A good friend and fellow countryman(woman) would tell you if you were in danger right? A good friend and fellow countryman(woman) should be able to disagree with you without being offended or offending.

For example if you liked Ted Cruz while someone else like Hillary Clinton being upset would be unuseful. Does anger change anything?

As an opinionated person, I know that I’ve offended people and I take responsibility for those times(yes they are many), but we absolutely cannot exclude from our lives those who disagree with us. In the name of acceptance we can easily forget open-mindedness.

“Sometimes, the people advocating tolerance display the most intolerant behavior” -Isaac Tolpin.

Though we may have a set opinion we should still listen and appreciate others thoughts, and if we must, respectfully disagree.

Emotional charge is an amazing thing if harnessed and used properly, but we cannot let this emotional charge allow ourselves to be hurt. 

Personal relationships shouldn’t dictate or strongly influence our opinion, but our opinion shouldn’t be allowed to hurt our relationships.

As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “A house divided cannot stand.”

Division destroys, while diversity enriches.` We must stand tall together, proclaiming our opinions and taking full advantage of our freedom of speech, while we will disagree, the key is to be kind and believe our differences strengthen us as a whole.

-Kelsey Tolpin

More about Kelsey Tolpin

I'm the oldest of 7 in a household that's driven to bring good to the world. I love cooking, making up recipes that foster unique creations people love. My library grows with my voracious appetite for learning and growing as a leader.

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6 Comments

    1. Thoughtful post, Kelsey.
      You might consider defining ‘division’ and what differences there are between disagreeing, contesting, debating, and dividing.
      You brought up emotions, but it wasn’t clear which emotions you think are unhelpful or problematic.
      I liked your quotes, especially the one from you father. True that!

    1. Kelsey, so proud of your great blog. You hit the nail on the head!! Want to share a podcast with you that Katie shared early in 2015. It’s at this link: http://www.radiolab.org/story/outside-westgate/ It’s a journalist sharing how difficult it was for him to report on a terrorist attack — because he could not get facts that matched when he started talking with people and gathering facts – he was getting different facts from different people.

      This podcast helped me to realize that everyone’s opinion is based on the facts that they have – and maybe it’s not possible for one person to ever have “all the facts” because the facts that we get are just the ones that we have heard, and there may be more facts out there that we have not heard, often presented from one person’s perspective — always different than the next person’s perspective (we are created unique). We have to make decisions about what we will do though – with the facts that we have and listen to the Lord as he directs us – in trying to keep an open mind and heart so conversations are covered with understanding and appreciation and honest disagreement if that’s what we end up with. We are covered in grace so we have to always remember – that we may have missed something or the other person may have missed something. Honest discussions are good – I stand with you – God asks us to love each other – and a house divided cannot stand. 🙂

    1. Thank you Mr. Williamson for your advice, you make a very good point, I could have defined my terms much better. I really appreciate the feedback 🙂

    1. Thanks Nana, your totally right, thanks for your comment! Different perspectives are really important, only God knows everything that happens and if we couldn’t listen to others our own thoughts would be extremely limited.

    1. Kelsey, I loved it. I am a unity guy regardless of positional stances. Diversity is a strength. It takes both a right and left wing to fly a plane :). God created one human race in his image and we should always love and honor His beloved, regardless of beliefs. Another great post by you. Great job and love to the family from Joyce and I.

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