There’s a big difference between being entitled to an opinion and being entitled to act upon that opinion. That important realization presents itself today in the form of a travel column.
You Are Always Entitled To Your Opinion, Even On An Airplane!
An article by Elliott Hester in the Los Angeles Times is titled:
You’re entitled to your opinion about mask-wearing, but not at 30,000 feet.
That headline certainly caught my eye. I thought perhaps that was just a sensationalistic headline, but it’s not. Hester is a flight attendant and a longtime syndicated columnist. He argues that:
“If noncompliant passengers believe the highly transmittable coronavirus is a hoax or that refusal to wear a mask makes some political statement or that their rights are being assailed, they are entitled to their opinions. But not at 30,000 feet. Not in a confined space for hours at a time with hundreds of worried strangers. Not when social distancing is impossible to achieve.”
Words matter. I realize I am one to talk when it comes to proofreading, but someone can still be very much of the opinion that masks are counterproductive and still dutifully comply at 30,000 feet.
He concludes his column by arguing:
“Wear a mask and get over yourself. If the Earth revolved around you and your sentiments, it would spin off its axis. And there would be no place for us to fly.”
And I agree. But that’s not what he argued before. Instead, he argued that you are not entitled to a certain opinion. I don’t like to see such arguments in public discourse.
Look, I’m not going to engage in the “cancel culture” trope of those with a persecution complex on the issue of masks. I’m also not going to argue that the “jury is still out” on masks.
But you are always entitled to your opinion. Always.
Live and Let’s Fly often takes positions. Some are popular. Some, not so much. There are consequences for acting upon and even expressing certain opinions. But I do want you to know that while other travel blogs remove comments, you are quite free to state your mind here. As long as you attack ideas and not people and keep the language clean, I’m not in the business of editing comments.
Worth a post over this? Perhaps not, but I hope that each day is another exercise in sharpening language and seeking the goal of truth. One way we reach that goal is through dialogue.