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March 10, 2021

“You can do Better”—Why Differing Opinions are a Good Thing.

“You can do better.”

On Elephant Journal, and particularly their Facebook pages and groups, I’ve seen a number of people calling them out, saying,

“You can do better.”

It’s usually someone who disagrees with an article, the title, the picture, or how it’s presented. I don’t often see a lot of people saying this, just a few, which leads me to believe that not everyone disagrees with the article.

But you know what? That makes sense. We are all human and all have lived different lives. We have different experiences that shape our beliefs.

There will be a bell curve of sorts where many people think similar things, with fewer people on either end of the spectrum thinking something completely different.

The past election didn’t really seem to support that, but I bet if you took the information and compiled it, you would find a large group of people in the middle and a smaller number on either side, right or left.

You may be wondering what my point is, though. My point is that what I love about Elephant Journal is the differing viewpoints we get to read about. 

It’s not all one way.

There are articles about veganism, but there are some people who write about why they still eat meat. There are posts about love and how wonderful it is, and then there are posts about why love is so painful for others. You can read articles about really bad parenting choices and some really great ones.

I like to equate it with a big buffet of foods being offered. There’s some stuff that I’ve tried and some food I haven’t. Some of it I loved; some of it was just okay. But how am I going to know if I like it or not if I don’t try it and it isn’t offered to me?

The documentary called “The Social Dilemma” brought up a pretty important point about social media. The way that the algorithms work causes people to see more of the stuff they like and less of the stuff they don’t like. It’s pretty neat that you get to see all the stuff you love, like those cute animal videos.

However, it can also be detrimental to our humanness when we don’t see anything else. It becomes an echo chamber where we don’t have many differing viewpoints. It means we can become stagnant and not learn anything new. It means we aren’t forced to examine our beliefs and determine if they are still valid or maybe they need some adjusting.

It can lead to us becoming self-righteous, assuming we know everything and everyone else is wrong. And there are enough articles on Elephant Journal that suggest that’s not the best place to be. I personally don’t want to be there. I want to grow and think about what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong.

I want to read those articles with differing opinions so I can determine what is working for me and what isn’t. Heck, I even read some of Robert’s articles when the political beliefs turned me off, just to get a different viewpoint.

I believe that’s what will help us work together to make our lives, and the lives of those around us, better. Realizing that we aren’t the only ones on this planet is hard at times because we must take care of ourselves to help others. Yet, it’s something we need to do.

What do you say? Want to join me in that effort?

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