Letter to the editor: Differing opinionsBy: Rob Ross, of Folsom
A few weeks back, there were posts on social media about how many people wanted the city to add shade structures to our parks because the play equipment was too hot for children. I watched each person give their opinion of why the equipment was too hot for kids while others chimed in claiming that they tested the structures and it didn’t seem too hot to them.
Once differing opinions formed, the battle lines were drawn. I saw neighbor against neighbor calling each other out as being completely naïve about heat levels and the need for shade. This battle raged on for several days.
I was watching my friend, Josh Hoover, give a speech. He said, “Our world seems to be so polarizing right now that we can’t even have a discussion about our parks and where our kids play without it getting ugly.”
This rang so true to me. I thought, “We’re talking about just people’s opinions. More importantly, if we can’t have civilized discussions about our parks and where kids play, how are we ever going to come together on big issues that impact our whole community?”
Folsom is like nowhere else I have ever lived, and I thought this type of heated exchange surly was not a representation of how I see our community. Somehow, it seems to me it’s much easier for people to be hateful and bully someone with a different opinion when they’re in the comfort of their home behind a keyboard. Now, more than ever, we need to band together as a city and community and take the time to understand that just because someone has a different opinion than mine, it doesn’t mean they’re evil.
My mother always said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I think that could use a little refresh and should say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, reflect on why and see if you can compromise and find common ground.” When we don’t allow everyone to express their opinions, we shrink our minds into believing that our opinion is the only possible option.
Regardless of where you stand on shade structures or issues in our community, always express your opinions openly and embrace others’. Remember, the person who allowed you to cut in line at the grocery store when you had only a few items just might be someone who has a differing opinion than you do.
-Rob Ross, of Folsom