Friends with Different Opinions

Have you ever fallen into a political or passionate debate inadvertently? I try to stay clear of expressing my views knowing full well that not everyone appreciates what drives me. However, sometimes someone on Facebook says something so against my grain I have to leave a comment. Other times a friend spits out fake news and expects me to eat it up. So, despite how much I hate confrontation every once in a while I have to walk into it.

During these discussions, I always learn a few important things. The first being that the world created all kinds of people. Everyone here is going to think and act differently. When I think there is an obvious answer clearly there is not. It’s okay though. Just consider how boring our world would be without different flavors out there. We need thinkers and we need others to challenge us.

Who knows, I may learn something new. I am not well versed in current trends and topics, mostly because I’m with my kids all day and it’s hard for me to read or listen to the news or social media. When I get in a discussion, I ask a lot of questions. Yes, sometimes I try to trip people up because they don’t know what they are talking about. That said, I need to be able to grasp an understanding of where they are coming from. I need to respect their sources and thought process. If someone is clear and confident, I am more responsive to their story.

Listening to their motivation helps to determine if the conversation is worth having. How many times have you argued with a wall? It’s tedious and frustrating. I avoid it and move on.

Differences of opinions can make me feel rather smart. By hearing the retort from others, it often solidifies where I stand. When words dribble out of someone’s mouth, I find myself more rooted in my beliefs, and that is good.

Friends and family will have different opinions than me. That’s okay, it’s not the only thing that makes up who I am. Untrue! You may think. Consider this, we all wear more than one hat several times during the day. From morning until night my views are tested with every scenery change.

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Example, I firmly believe people who treat their yard are killing the bees and ruining the environment. I do not treat my yard for this very reason. Almost every neighbor does, but I’m still friends with them, and we hang out all the time. In fact, we rarely talk about our lawns.

This is not an overly complicated belief, but I’m sure people could point out why my opinion is wrong. Some have tried, I still disagree. It’s who I am, no apologies. I like bees buzzing around the clovers in my yard. They are being killed at alarming rates.

You should feel this way about the topics that are important to you. You should not, however, make up facts to prove your point or scream at others for disagreeing with you. There is a saying from a fortune cookie I read once: Those that know the least know it the loudest. These are the people I don’t bother engaging with.

To conclude, we should embrace our friends with different views. Respect the spark in others. It makes us who we are.

Photo by Wesley Marçal on Unsplash

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

1 Comment

  1. I seem to come back to something I think about often and your post touch on this for me – The more I come to understand, the more I understand that there is so much I don’t understand. And this understanding that I don’t understand that much grows the more I understand and learn. It is like the ultimate paradox of learning and maybe even wisdom IMO.

    I also think about how, if you think about each person individually, that no one ever in this earth life, will be able to fully see and understand another’s life experience and exposure to ideas and what has formed their beliefs, because the life path and exposure to whatever ideas, etc is unique for each person and only each individual has lived it and absorbed, let us say, ‘impressions’. The data of near-death experiences, etc points to the distinct possibility that when we die we get to experience it all again from many perspectives, your own, what others experienced, a birds eye view perspective – to include all thoughts and feelings of all involved, all in a flash. Anyway, I really dislike the phrase ‘my truth,’ because many people use it as a means of deflection in terms of challenging beliefs (what some have called ‘sacred cows’) and hold it up to justify the belief that there is no objective reality, but it kind of does fit that each person has a personal ‘truth’ whether even they fully grasp it or not. It is very much likely they don’t.

    Each person may have a unique ‘truth’ or experiences which has formed their beliefs, but general patterns are very prevalent, even if the flavor of such might be adjusted some. An interesting book that I think about in relation to this is the book ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ by PD Ouspensky, because the person being quoted etc knew human psychology and cognitive psychology before they were even formulated. And this guy Gurdjieff was of the opinion that people basically act like machines and are predictable in how they will act in various situations until they learn to observe themselves and break those patterned habits and thoughts, etc.

    I don’t engage many people nowadays about various subjects, because I think unless people realize they might be wrong and then are open to working to explore for themselves and even sort of work as a team with the other person to dialogue and research about any given topic, then it is usually for the most part people taking at each other and not truly communicating and learning. I’m no saint when it comes to this and it is work to really listen to a person and not jump out with what you believe and think when you disagree with something another says. That would be ‘external consideration’ for a person (kind of the beginnings of empathy) instead of internal consideration, which is basically focusing inward instead of outward toward others. The real sticky wicket in all of this is when other people’s beliefs and actions impacts your life and the free will choices you make on how you want to live, such as not wanting to have a neighbors poison lawn treatment wafting over into your lawn and killing all bees their and in existence (if that is indeed what is killing off the bees)…

    A long time ago (live 10 to 20 years ago) I was going to write a book and this was going to be the opening line, “Trust in me you are going to die blind and concealed to all others.” In a lot of ways, I was searching for myself and for understanding about the world when I wrote that. The book was going to be based off ideas I had when journaling, reading books and soul-searching using journaling. I think I would add to the line “…, blind to yourself, and blind to the world and the truth.”

    “Trust in me you are going to die blind and concealed to all others, blind to yourself, and blind to the world and the truth.”

    This isn’t a very happy outlook to have, but through suffering, pain and effort I’m happy to report that “I’ve been getting better” and “I feel happy” now – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPatfgoNBRo

    LOL

    And I don’t necessarily believe that the line has to be the case, yet is likely the case with most people.

    My blog comment ‘novel’ complete, I will retire for the evening.

    Like

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