POINT OF VIEW: Lost in translation, today’s political climate


Everywhere we look, we see the word kindness. Billboards promote kindness, actors and actresses encourage kindness, some in the mainstream media preach kindness, and friends and colleagues expect us to be kind. We literally hear this word over and over, day in and day out. However, as we know, the more often that a word is used, the more likely it is to lose its intended meaning.

Sadly, some people have used the term kindness in so many different contexts that it has lost its intended meaning. Today, many people walk on eggshells because they do not know whether their conduct will be perceived as kind or “unkind.” This is especially true in light of the changing political climate.

The First Amendment gives people the right to speak freely, to share their thoughts and opinions, and to do so without fear of legal repercussions (generally speaking). However, some opine that this right has slowly been eroding. For example, if a conservative takes issue with same-sex marriage, and voices discontent in a respectful manner, he or she could be labeled as “unkind.” On the other hand, if a progressive voices strong opposition to the NRA, or promotes strict gun-control measures, he or she could face enormous backlash. Does the mere fact that someone voices disagreement with a particular idea/issue make them a bad person or “unkind?” The absurdity of this question does not even necessitate a response. Of course not!

The political climate today is causing people to be timid, less vocal and more cautious about what they say. It is not because they don’t want to say what’s on their mind. Rather, it is because they are unsure how their comments might be perceived. There is nothing wrong with disagreement, so long as it remains respectful. There is nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion relating to certain practices or ideas, so long as the differences are voiced in an intellectual and constructive manner. There is also nothing wrong with staying strong to one’s convictions, so long as this is done peacefully. However, there is something wrong when society has become so sensitive that it prevents the open exchange of ideas.

The world is changing. Despite this, people are still permitted to share their thoughts and opinions. These opinions should not dictate who is deemed to be “kind,” and/or “unkind.” If this becomes the norm, and we allow this to happen, aren’t we passing judgment, and isn’t this, also, “unkind”?

ELAD HAKIM, BOCA RATON

Editor’s note: Hakim is an attorney based in Boca Raton.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: Youth need community support as they go back to school

As a parent, certain days stand out as significant: days in which our role seems to take on special meaning, and days in which our presence and support are especially important and appreciated by our children. The first day of school is always one of these days. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999...
Opinion: Partying like it’s 1998

And now for something completely similar. For a while, those of us who devoted a lot of time to understanding the Asian financial crisis two decades ago were wondering whether Turkey was going to stage a re-enactment. Sure enough, that’s what seems to be happening. Here’s the script: start with a country that, for whatever reason, became...
Letters Post made informed choices possible

Post made informed choices possible Having recently moved to Florida, my wife and I found the primary ballot to be a daunting challenge. With so many candidates, how is one possibly able to make an educated choice? Sure, we were inundated with telephone calls and emails, but that’s just paid political advertising. So we were very grateful to...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW DANA SUMMERS
Editorial:We need a more aggressive approach on rape kits
Editorial:We need a more aggressive approach on rape kits

Zero. That’s the most telling, and arguably damning number in a July 22 Palm Beach Post story on the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s $1 million project to clear a backlog of some 1,500 unanalyzed rape evidence kits that had been sitting on its shelves for as long as 40 years. While it is admirable that the PBSO embarked on this...
More Stories