It appears that many people in this day and age are unable to separate complex issues from one another. Various issues, thoughts about them, and ideas of how the world should be are all lumped into one overall generalized category and tucked safely within one’s mind. To separate issues of complexity and reflect on them from different perspectives can drastically improve one’s decision making skills.
Recently, there has been much talk and debate over American football players’ decision to kneel during the American National Anthem before the game in order to bring attention to social injustice or racial issues. They are well within their right to kneel during the anthem; but has this been a good decision made? Some will say yes and others will say no, but let’s look at this issue from both perspectives.
From the angle of the players, kneeling in support of another will bring attention to the issue of racial injustice. Their kneeling during the anthem has done just that, people have taken notice and the issue is being talked about. However, this decision has also brought about criticism from those who believe that their kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the country and those who died fighting for it.
So what next, where does this issue go from here? The football players have gathered added support for the cause of social injustice, but have also alienated patriotic fans and non-fans who believe that the kneeling overshadows their cause of support. In order to keep their cause alive and bring their issue to the forefront there must be a compromise made, more decisions to make; if not then there will be a stalemate.
Human emotion comes into play when dealing with issues of complexity and decisions made when dealing with them. People naturally have core beliefs and put one issue over another without thinking of the issues in a rational way from various perspectives. These core beliefs are what pit people against one another when sides must be taken. They may agree with one another, but believe one issue is more important than the other.
From the perspective of those who disagree with the football players’ protest, a vast majority believe that there is a different time and place to bring attention to the issue of social injustice. Their core beliefs have them believe that the nation and American flag are being disrespected when the players kneel while it is being played. To them, this issue is more important than the issue of protesting for racial or social injustice.
So who is right and who is wrong? We are not perfect people and all make poor decisions at times, and that is okay; it is human nature. When we are caught in such a situation with two parties pitted against one another, there must be compromise so each can get what they want. The people against the football players want respect for the flag and football, while the players want their issue recognized and addressed.
Being able to process emotions will help them reach a conclusion and compromise on the issues at hand, it does not matter which side one is on. The players have every right to protest, and others have every right to be against the way the protest is carried out. The realization is that both sides want their needs and ideas to be conformed to. The question is, how do they come to a conclusion where both sides are satisfied?