Skip to content

We should be able to listen and respect each other’s opinions and beliefs - letter

It’s unimaginable that what I am seeing happening in Ottawa now against peaceful protesters is actually happening in Canada.

It’s unimaginable that what I am seeing happening in Ottawa now against peaceful protesters is actually happening in Canada.

It looks like the actions of other countries that up until now we have condemned for their inhumane suppression of any peaceful dissent. How can this be happening in Canada, a country that has always been proud of our tolerance and our ability to stand up for what we believe in; A country that has always, until now, allowed for freedom of speech.

We all have a right to form our own beliefs and ideas without being condemned or treated like criminals. We all have a right to be heard, at least until now. We fought two World Wars in order to defend our freedoms.

And now we are allowing one person to declare war on freedom of speech and peaceful protests. What is next?

Each of us has developed our own unique kaleidoscope through which we perceive our reality. It is formed from childhood experiences, family influence, culture, traumas, teachers and any number of other influences as we grew up. Each of us has a different prism through which we see our world. So it follows that each one of us also has our own way of interpreting information and forming opinions and beliefs about our reality.

Whether we agree or disagree with what the protests are about, we all should defend the right for them to do so and to stand up for what they believe in. Government should always be questioned, not just blindly followed.

My opinion, based on how I see the world through my own unique viewfinder tells me it is good to keep an open mind and listen to others’ points of view. You never know what you might learn.

Perhaps sometimes another view point will resonate with you and awaken possibilities that you had not thought of before. Or perhaps you will still disagree and that is okay too. There is no right or wrong. It is just a different perception of what each of us sees as reality.

Most, if not all, of the world’s greatest inventions, discoveries, masterpieces in art and music, advancements in technology and all areas of evolution and growth of mankind, have come from people who dared to entertain possibilities other than what they were told to believe or conform to. So why do we not want to eagerly listen to all opinions and ideas with an open mind and without judgement. Why fear this and demand that everyone conform to a set of rules or ideologies that one or two authority figures have demanded we follow. It is an exciting journey when we can open our minds and consider what can be possible outside of what we are told and shown by a voice in position of power.

Maybe we should look back on history and remember that some of the most destructive and horrific events of this world occurred because no one questioned or was allowed to question the word of authority. We look back with disbelief and condemnation for all those who blindly followed and accepted what they were told by one misguided and dark soul. The few who tried to voice their objections were punished and even killed.

We are righteous in our indignation at some cultures and governments who demand total obedience and compliance with one ideology and use force and violence to silence opposing voices.

So why would we now want to do allow our government in Canada to do the same to those who do not blindly accept what authority tells us we must do?

It is a sad day for Canada when we allow ourselves to be taken over by tyranny just because we don’t agree with someone else. Next time maybe it will be you who are silenced or worse.

All I am saying is that we should welcome differing opinions and views. We should be able to listen and respect each other’s opinions and beliefs.

We don’t have to agree but maybe there is a possibility that with more information adding more colours and designs to our personal understanding, our beliefs will change and expand and something new and better can develop.

Through this the world and humanity will grow and reach higher, happier states of consciousness where we will finally live in a beautiful, peaceful and happy existence for everyone.

This of course is just my opinion as formed by looking through my own unique kaleidoscope.

Jan Cliffe

Campbell River