We often have a very definite opinion about what is right and what is wrong and exactly how others should act. When others don’t do it the way we think is right, we get angry and think they should be punished.
Take the law shielding confidential information for reporters, for example. We can make a very good argument why their information should be protected; and we can also make a very good argument for why it should not. Society needs to consider those arguments carefully, and develop a rule that will best serve in this situation – one that considers both points of view and is in line with our underlying social principles.
Instead of just deciding what we think is right and then fighting to make that the law, we would be better served spending our energy looking for solutions that will be best for our society as a whole. When we have differences of opinion and want to live in peace with each other, we need to respect the other’s point of view and search for common ground. When I read letters to the editor, blogs, and tweets about the political news I am amazed at how much disrespect is displayed for people with opposing points of view. My way or the highway is not the best answer if we want to live at peace with each other.