I was recently horrified to discover that a friend of many years was now posting racist slogans and photos on Facebook. I thought I knew this person well, and although we only keep in contact at Christmas and the occasional hello on Facebook I couldn’t believe the change. This was a person that I had shared many a fantastic night out, with a wide circle of people from a multitude of backgrounds. What had happened? Why didn’t I know this person held such views? What sort of judge of character am I?
So it got me thinking, again, about how little we know about people.
Another friend once said to me you think you know people but you will have encountered many people in your life that will probably have very different lives than those you think they have. I may have believed that I will have met people but I felt sure I would never befriend a person who held extreme views.
Do we adjust our persona to fit in? Do I do that? Would I ever hide my beliefs to fit in? I honestly don’t believe I would. I have very strong beliefs and have argued with friends, family and colleagues about many things such as politics, race, religion etc. that I do not think that anyone would be under any illusion about where I stand.
I don’t stop being friends with people who don’t share my beliefs but I would not wittingly choose to continue any type of relationship with someone who has extreme views such as racism. So this puts me in a quandry, do I say something to this person, do I ‘un-friend’ them, do I ignore it and just continue to send the annual card wishing them well? My gut feel is that I cannot leave it without comment to this person and whilst it’s sad to lose a friend I don’t want the association of such views. So here goes……….