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.
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.