Offended by the uncomfortable | Mark’s Remarks

In the past few years, I’ve noticed that people don’t want to hear from anyone they disagree with, because people who disagree with them make them feel uncomfortable or not accepted.

So, you hear two people trying to have a conversation and one of the people is either talking over the other or simply refusing to listen.

I have simply stopped posting much of anything that resembles an opinion on my Facebook page. In fact, Facebook is becoming something I mostly avoid.  I look at my notifications or check if someone has messaged me, and that’s about it. I rarely post.

Since Oprah Winfrey made a few comments several years ago, I have not been a fan. I went from thinking she was something else to thinking she was, well, something else. 

In my personal opinion, she had elevated herself to some sort of icon. A legend in her own mind. She was imparting wisdom about how to “live your best life” and leading “Oprah’s Master Class” and it just seemed as though she suddenly thought she was in some sort of god-like realm.

Furthermore, she made some statements about religion and God that I found offensive.

My opinion. Shared by some and disputed by many.

I posted some comments about her on Facebook.  Oh my! How dare I say a thing against the great Oprah?  You would have thought I was expressing some sort of blasphemous libel. It was bugging me that the great Ms. Winfrey was sitting all queenly at the Golden Globes, front and center and getting ready to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award. 

I posted something about it and got quite a few thumbs up. However, I also got a lot of nasty comments – most of them in private messages.

Now, I will not deny the fact Oprah has done a lot of good things. Schools for girls. Charity work. I’m sure she’s done a lot of things with her wealth and power that have helped an enormous amount of people. However, due to her offensive comments and what seems to me to be a somewhat superior attitude, I didn’t care much for her.

But then I started examining my thoughts, which I knew were off base and contradictory of how I’m supposed to feel about a fellow human being. I realized my main problem with Oprah was that I once thought she was down-to-earth, and suddenly she didn’t seem to be anymore.  

Furthermore, I’d heard stories about her, heard comments from her own mouth, and on and on it went.

Oprah made me feel uncomfortable. But heck, I don’t really know her.  I shouldn’t be feeling so strongly about someone I don’t really know – especially someone in the public limelight.

That was pretty much the end of my posting, anything political or opinion based, because I suddenly realized that expressing your opinion publicly was starting to be a taboo thing.  

Yet, I went to see “Sounds of Freedom” a few weeks back, and felt inclined to post about it.  If you see the movie, you will see that it evokes some strong feelings. 

The strong feelings are from the movie’s story, depicting people fighting against child sex trafficking. But some folks are so disturbed by the entire thing that they deny it’s going on. Therefore, they are strongly against the movie.  

A far smaller number than the folks who support the movie. But the nay-sayers are still out there, squawking away.

After my post, I had an overwhelming amount of feedback through private messages and reply posts.  People sent me emails. I had a few phone calls from friends and even a letter in the mail. Some people said they decided to go just from reading my little post.  

Now, who sounds all influential and full of themselves?  

I had almost no negative feedback. Still, I know there are people who feel the movie was overblown and political propaganda. I read articles and reviews of people who were highly critical of the movie, saying it was part of some type of right-wing Jesus-freak movement.

This type of attitude disturbs me so, especially considering there is no denying child trafficking is a monstrous and evil problem in this world.  The negative people and articles made me feel so uncomfortable, and I decided to ignore them, block them and forget about them.

Nothing any of them say or do will change my stance.

I guess we have to do a better job at accepting one another and maybe dealing better with conflict and uncomfortable situations. I don’t like that we spend so much time getting hot under the collar because we get offended.  

Hollering and lashing out isn’t going to help matters at all.  

I gotta remember that.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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