Opinion and not die trying?

By: Antonio López Sánchez

I recently saw a nice joke on social media. The text read: “I practice a high-risk sport: I give my opinion.” Like every good joke, once the smile has passed, one gets to think. Really, is it dangerous to give an opinion? Well, yes, it rarely is.

Beyond that, in certain areas, especially politicians, ideological clashes abound and confrontation is daily bread, the problem goes beyond such grounds, because, since the world is the world, there are very diverse opinions on issues as disparate as Industrial or Santiago, fried egg or in tortilla or chubby trigueñas or skinny blondes.

However, a trend whose dangers can go beyond virtual frameworks travels in parallel, or sometimes on top of, the ever-sharing of overlapping criteria. This is the act of conduct which rejects not the opinion of others, but the opinion.

Come on, we’ve all argued with emphasis on some topic. The passion that runs through the Cuban veins makes it seem like a nuclear war the simple exchange that tries to drive per secula seculorum, and without results, whether Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo… If we talk about those televised sports rocks, a smile will remember journalists’ efforts to avoid the participants’ stresses and qualifiers towards their rivals. Such denuestos even look folkloric in the capital Central Park or in the Plaza de Mars santiaguera, but they sound terrible on our always incarnated and formal television.

Now another happens on social media, but not from the innocent lack of an athlete, but almost in all subjects. It is not uncommon for any idea, any exchange, to end up in rains of insults among the foristas and in crazy so-called jungles, always seasoned with words that would make Francisco de Quevedo red.

The saddest thing is that behind these rudeness, rests a terrible argument, irrational and even inhuman: “If you’re not with me, you’re against me.” “Against me” implies not only the impossibility of listening and reaching an agreement with another, let alone recognizing, ever, the mistake of its own. The “against me” entails, at times nothing hidden, the intention to attack and defeat by the force of offense and not arguments. Crushing the ideologt and not dirimir, accepting or nuance the idea is the goal. In fact, the pressure from social media, not counting any real physical assault, has caused psychological damage and very unpleasant situations to some people, just to exercise a criterion and receive in return the rejection and a world of attacks.

I have seen “defenders” of left-wing or right-wing ideology, “convincing” from onslaughts, from the absurdity of stubbornness, from total deafness to the judgment of others. It is impossible to establish a minimum of serious debate without anyone reacting offended, misrepresenting, taking the part at all and closing the cycle with aggression to the other.

A significant case is that of any matter in the national environment. When a Cuban issue is addressed, especially when critical points are made, some react with the old and already useless dogma that the critic is an enemy, a mercenary paid for by the empire and that, terrible idea this, what he should do is leave, as if the homeland, or the simple geographical terrain where we live, was a kind of club exclusive to a card , a party or a political trend. Because, moreover, such “revolutionarys” do not argue. They do not demonstrate the superiority of their social process or ideology. They scream, they take red the veins out of the neck of every word and instead of arger, they disqualify, offend, exclude. Although the so-called mercenary lives on a plot with a salary in Cuban pesos and works daily to improve this country that many good things have, but many others also criticized and therefore improveable.

I think it is indeed a worse enemy that hides, who misrepresents, who silences the truths that could make us all fuller and happier. After all, for all and for the good of all, this country was dreamed of turning this country into a republic. I always think in these cases that a bad service, a misguided policy or disposition, such as epidemics, in the end affect the revolutionary equally than the dissident. The potholes, the bureaucracies, our daily evils, anyway, have no ideology.

Nothing makes us more human than the diversity of expressions, tastes, ideas and views. But respect for the other, the ability to hear and learn from the opinion of others, even those we do not share, makes us wiser.

So think about it. Maintain respect, interpret, practice the gift of listening and serious analysis of other people’s judgment and do not coerced from practicing this necessary, although today risky sport. Anyway, before you make the first throw of a criterion, don’t forget to put on your helmet. Ω

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