I was talking to a friend of mine from the UK on Facebook yesterday. We were arguing about his new brother-in-law outing him incorrectly to the wedding party prior to the ceremony. The new BiL told people that my friend is gay when, in fact, he is bisexual. While I was ranting about the idiocy of outing someone and the ignorance of calling him gay, my friend sent me the following quote: (and yes, he is a Freemason).

“Freemasonry is an attempt to organize harmony – the principle can be followed else where”.

I respect that he wants to keep harmony in the family by not saying anything or seeking to correct his new BiL during the ceremony or at the reception after. However, my friend maintains that this is a non-issue and refuses to talk to his new BiL to correct the misunderstanding. This situation inspired today’s post.

Is the pursuit of harmony more important than educating ignorance? Can harmony be achieved through said education?

While I agree that it depends on the topic and the situation involved, I maintain that education is key to any issue. If someone doesn’t know any better or has been given incorrect information, are we not obligated to correct that misinformation? Take the antivax movement: if parents believe Jenny McCarthy to be correct, aren’t we obligated to point them towards the correct information and explain that thimerisol has been proved to have no link to autism?

Even with a relatively minor issue like Grandma believing in Nessie, are we doing Grams a disservice by not presenting her with a more factual point of reference?

When I was little my father wrote and recorded a poem that he played for me when I got home from my first day of school. One of the lines that has stuck with me has always been “Teach her to stand and fight if she believes she’s right.”. And so I do. Sometimes it causes uncomfortable situations. I would like to think that learning the truth eventually makes up for the temporary discomfort.

This is just my opinion. What do you think? Harmony or education?


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