Think before you speak, please

Lindsay Lillig

The sense of entitlement engulfing all of society is verging on an unbearable level. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks his or her opinion is the only one worth listening to. It is good to be sure of oneself, but it is better to be sure of the facts. If a person wants to boast their right to express an opinion, they better know both sides of the argument. Otherwise, they sound nothing more than smug and ignorant.
I read an article this past week about the Ray Rice NFL shenanigans. The author of said article stated how the NFL so quickly covered up what Rice did, but, when confronted, the NFL played innocent to knowing anything about the situation whatsoever. The author then declared that the NFL hates women.
I was astounded by the author’s absolute bias and blindness to the truth of the situation. It was more than clear throughout the rest of the article that the author possessed no respect for the NFL in the first place and simply seized the first opportunity to tear the franchise down in whatever way they could. The NFL does not hate women. The NFL is one of the largest franchises in the country. Like any other multi-million dollar corporation, the National Football League works hard to protect its image. The actions the league took are shady, yes, but they have nothing to do with women. The person who wronged women is Ray Rice. That is who deserved the author’s dissension, and that is why their argument fell flat. They did not take the necessary time to get to the root of the situation, but instead made a brash conclusion and wrote an article about it.
This is a prime example of the aforementioned sense of entitlement. People have fallen into the habit of saying whatever they want and expecting to be listened to simply because they are competent enough to formulate a sentence. There are not near enough repercussions when the average person sounds like a complete idiot. Consequently, the average person does not see anything wrong with conducting his or herself as such. Instead, a spectacle is made of this behavior.
I wish society still possessed the dignity of certain past cultures. The way citizens addressed Queen Elizabeth or how the Crawleys of Grantham conduct themselves in “Downton Abbey.” Freedom of speech is so discombobulated. I weep for a new norm.
Be curious again. Listen first and speak later. Gather information, reflect on it and then form an opinion. Many things are situational. More things are gray than are black and white, so be open to the opinion of others. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and try to be wiser. You just may surprise yourself and actually become a more well-rounded, understanding human being. You may even become genuinely interested in what people say that goes against your opinion.