I know what you meant by that.

If you don’t like what you read on this site, you hate kids.

People who don’t read this site want to destroy the environment.

Those who question what I’m saying want tall people dead.

How many of you read any of the first four sentences and just know what I was really saying is you’re ugly?

Disagreeing with me is not who we are.

If we save just one life, we have to do things my way.

Maybe you should just stop watching so much Faux News.

If any of the above represents the way you think or approach conversations, debates, or arguments with friends or family, you may need to work on your critical thinking skills.

None of us can read minds. None of us know what other people have experienced. None of us know what information went into determining what others do or what others say.

None of us know what motivates others. None of us are any good at reading between the lines.

All of us think the way we do things is “who we are,” but the way we think others do things is not. Sacrificing everyone to save one life is decidedly not worth it.

None of us know where other people get their information.

When we make those assumptions, we tell ourselves false narratives that may prevent us from making intelligent decisions. It may also prevent us from learning something.

From 2008 to 2016, many thought those who disagreed with President Obama were simply racist. Nevermind that the objections they raised were the same ones they’ve been raising about Democrats for years. But making that claim simply deflected from the veracity of the point and prevented a percentage of people from considering the criticism.

We’re never going to get very far if we don’t start listening with an open mind. This is why the First Amendment is so important.

Remember, it’s freedom to speak your mind. With it, comes your freedom to listen. You also have the freedom to be offended. (But we have the freedom to not care…)