Column: It’s OK to agree to disagree


I am opinionated. It’s a simple fact I accepted a long time ago.

But in realizing that I am opinionated, I had to learn how to channel it in the best way possible. It’s not always easy because I am a passionate person and I was raised with convictions.

Still,I have learned there is a time and place for everything.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is “to agree to disagree” and to walk away from a situation. And while I know I’m not the only person who has developed this skill, I wish the rest of the world would catch up soon.

A friend once told me “everyone you meet has something to offer. You have to find out what it is, and learn to appreciate whatever it is that they bring to a situation.”

I took that to heart.

The United States of America is a mess. Plain and simple. There is a huge divide in our country on nearly every topic that pops up. The President, the National Anthem, racial tension and gun control are just a few things that come to mind. All are important, and all bring intense conversation to the table.

I have no problem with a good debate on these topics, or any others that might come up in conversation. I enjoy being able to present my point of view, as well as listen to the view of those who feel different than I. Sometimes, those conversations are building blocks of friendships that end up lasting a lifetime, whether we agree on the issues or not.

But what I do have a problem with is when a debate or disagreement is shrouded as an excuse to be belligerent, rude, and inconsiderate.

I have seen and experienced this from all sides and all levels lately, and it’s heartbreaking.

Where did things go so wrong?

I don’t care which side of an issue you are on. Unfortunately, there is a lack of true “tolerance” on either side. I can also guarantee that your side isn’t without fault, blame or some level of misinformation.

This goes for not only national politics or social issues, but local ones a well.

It’s time for change.

We don’t have to agree.

No one does. That is the beauty of our country.

We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control how we choose to react.

So please just stop.

Its fine to express your opinion. Just do so with kindness. Whether you are talking about national gun control, or a local debate over yard sign placement for the Galion mayoral election, the petty name-calling and trash talking I see on social media is out of control.

Not every situation is an opportunity to push your personal beliefs, platform or agenda.

If I say something you don’t like or agree with, just move on. I’m sure I’ve extended that same courtesy to you many times over out of nothing more than respect to your right to have an opinion … even if it’s different than mine.

So just agree to disagree.

Life will go on, and you might end up a whole lot happier in the long run.

Email Erin Miller with comments or story ideas at emiller@aimmediamidwest.com or call her at 419-468-1117, ext 2049.