February 25, 2016

Valuing Diversity of Thought


I'm not going to unfriend, unfollow, or block anybody on social media solely because of which political candidate they like. I'm also not going to use my platform to call them names because they might prefer a different candidate to ones I prefer. And yes, this is true even if I strongly disagree with their choice of candidate or find the views of their preferred candidate objectionable or "problematic" in some way.

Since this approach seems so unusual on today's Internet, I recognize that a bit of explanation might be warranted. Fortunately, the explanation is very simple. When I say I value diversity, this includes more than considerations of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and the like; it includes diversity of political opinion, preference, and viewpoint. I believe that my ability to interact with reality and to learn from life experience is greatly enhanced by my willingness to encounter views with which I disagree or find objectionable. And so I will continue to seek opportunities to encounter perspectives which are very different from my own.

I'd like to add one more thing to this brief post, since it is bound to come up. What I am describing here is a choice I am making for myself. It is not one I am seeking to impose on you. You must make your own choice. For example, you are perfectly free to create a "safe space" for yourself where you attempt to minimize the chances that you will come in contact with views you do not like. I may question the costs and benefits of such a choice, but I recognize that it is yours to make. All I ask is that those of you making such a choice for yourselves recognize that you are making a choice for yourselves and that you do not seek to impose it on others who do not wish it for themselves.