There’s an old adage out there: if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.
To be honest, I don’t know where we are at these days in trying to please anyone, much less everyone. All I can tell is there seems to be a lot of dissatisfied people out there.
As far as I can tell, most of the dissatisfaction revolves around the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the responses I’ve seen from people vary wildly, from “Fake news!” to “Why can’t people wear masks?” to “Open us back up!” to “KEEP US SAFE!”
One of the more interesting parts of being a journalist is that you get to witness opinions from start to finish on any given process. Needless to say, those opinions have been incredibly vocal and countless times expressed over the last two months – and not just on the local scale.
It’s a rare day when I’m on social media and don’t see one of the following things:
• People either vocally supporting or vocally bashing our president for any number of offenses slash successes (perceived or real, I’ll leave up to you)
• People either vocally supporting or vocally bashing either Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers or Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz
• People vocally shouting down anyone who opposes their way of thinking over just about anything.
Now, there are a few other adages I’ve been told over the years, and they apply as well to social media as they do to life. One is that well, like a rear end, everyone has an opinion (me included). Two is that if you are waiting for universal popularity, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.
So, when it comes to everyone expressing opinions right now –and seeing the wide scope of both support and disdain for whatever decisions are being made – I guess I’m not surprised.
But in the meantime, things are getting pretty heated. People are pulling guns and shooting others over disagreements, losing friends over being on the “wrong” side of any given argument, and being publicly shamed if they comply with what any given person feels is “right.”
I’m not taking sides here. Aside from the fact that I really can see the varying differences of opinion, it’s generally not good for a newspaper editor to offer an opinion on anything political, so I tend to steer clear.
But in the meantime, is it so hard to remember the Golden Rule? You know, that phrase you learn in nursery school: do unto others as you’d have done to you.
As we all work our way forward in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be great to see everyone (me included) remember that simple rule, and basically, try to be kind.