LETTER from JASON HEWLETT
To the Editor:
Through much trial and error, I have learned how to express my opinions in a respectful, honest and productive way instead of being unfair with the people who have different opinions than I do. It wasn’t easy for me to learn that valuable life lesson because when you’re so sure you’re right about something, you feel entitled to be the final authority on the subject.
One of the ways I’ve been able to swallow my pride and be fair to my critics is to be open and objective enough to read or listen to both sides of an issue and not just my side.
A one-sided viewpoint, even if it’s true, doesn’t give people an opportunity to think for themselves and they end up letting other people think for them.
I have also learned through my own personal failures that letting my critics speak their mind rather than silencing them actually increases the value and validity of my own viewpoint.
I have accepted that I may need more education and guidance, even constructive criticism, about the things I believe and write about. But can the public, including my critics, admit that as well?
If you or I cannot swallow our pride about something we believe, something we’re very passionate about, then the least we can do is read and listen to both sides of the story, whatever that story may be, before we jump to conclusions about our critics.
Then we can at least know the reasons for their views and help them.