I struggled with whether I should even attempt to tackle this topic. But Ozzie Guillen and his shenanigans are just too juicy to pass up. For those of you who could give two shits about the wide world of sports (and I applaud you) or have been holed up in your parent’s dark and dank basement playing Call of Duty XVIIIXX, he basically flipped the proverbial bird at the entire Cuban community of Miami (which is pretty much the entire community of Miami) the other day. He didn’t mean to. He’s just old, and cranky, and usually only half sober. But he essentially gave a friendly little shout-out to Senior Fidel Castro. Yeah, not good.
The community is in an uproar; there’s been picketing at the stadium, calls for his resignation, lots of angry stomping and yelling and fist pounding. People are trying to boycott the Marlins. It’s freakin’ nuts down there – and it’s not like they need any more drama in that crazy city. But here’s what I’m hung up on…
Can we just ease up on the hate a little bit?
I understand you’re angry – it’s an insult to your strife. In some cases, it’s a veritable spit on your ancestors’ graves. And that would make me angry too. But let it go, man. Why do we jump so quickly to anger and protest and yelling? That man is entitled to his opinion – irrespective of how stupid it is. It’s called diversity, yo. Diversity of thought. You don’t like it, that’s cool. You’re lashing out and condeming a man for expressing an opinion in a country where the freedom to express an opinion is quite literally the essence of who we are. And while your freedom to refute his opinion is part of that essence, you undermine that freedom when you make a big spectacle out of it; when you start calling names; when you make personal character attacks; when you refuse to listen, to forgive, to forget, and to move on.
We’re allowed to have different opinions in the workplace and we’re (usually) allowed to disagree vehemently. But there comes a point where vehemence starves constructive dissent of its beauty. We can’t harness, leverage, or exploit the power of constructive dissent when every one is yelling at one another. There’s something to be learned from and socially gained from this situation. But that has to unfold in a respectful and thoughtful fashion…with patience. We go from ‘zero’ to ‘hate’ in this country like a fine tuned Maserati. And what we really need to do in order to get a bit more productive for ourselves and for those who follow us is to learn to enjoy the ride a bit.
Image Credit: Viernest