Friday, August 2, 2013

[Opinion Piece] Stop the Argument, Start the Conversation...

A couple of days ago I was preparing a scathing status about how people who act cruelly to people's beliefs (I was arguing for mine of course) are ignorant and foolish no matter how educated they claim to be. 

Then it hit me. I was being ignorant and foolish.

 I was beating down people who beat down people and by doing so I was continuing the cycle in which those who feel justified to do so will degrade those they feel are not. 

My words had already been spoken by the party I was targeting and I had been so "hurt" by them that I wanted to lash out like some pathetic bovine caught in a mud pit. By doing so I was simply turning their own words around to suit me and then regurgitating them back into the fray. We are all guilty of this, of regurgitating the same arguments over and over and over again. Getting nowhere except deeper into this war of words and hurt feelings. 

So I've decided that I'm going to let the argument stop with me and I am going to turn it into a conversation. Arguing will never change anyone's mind and who says their minds need changing? 

Conversation is the informal exchange of ideas through spoken word. That's all it ever needs to be. I should be able to listen to another persons ideas without feeling hurt by them, and they ought to do the same to me. I am not saying a back and forth battle, just listen and exchange without allowing yourself to offend or become offended. 

I used to think I was a "push over" because I would listen and oftentimes agree with people who I don't, as a rule, agree with. Turns out I was practicing conversation. I wasn't double crossing my own beliefs or anything like that, I was agreeing with the way they felt because their logic had sound reasoning to them. Just because it didn't fit into my own perfect knowledge (this is sarcasm, my knowledge is fragmented at best) doesn't mean it wasn't valid. 

Due to the fact that this war has been raging for so very long you might find that you will be unable to do anything but listen for a while if you choose to end the argument. Providing your own perspective or ideas may seem like you are trying to discredit the other person instead of just letting them know where you stand. So there will be a great deal of pride swallowing for those who give this a try until people start to catch on to the art of having a conversation. I don't think listening is ever a bad thing so I doubt this exercise will be bad for me. 

I know I'm just one person, that these arguments are billions strong. However by stopping the argument in my own life I will be able to reap the benefits of endless opportunities for learning (because I will not be an enemy to the various venues of learning), and an enormous pool of diverse friends (because I will not limit my friendships to circles of people who agree with me). Hopefully it makes some degree of a difference.

Love you all!



"When you talk you are only saying what you already know. When you listen you might learn something."

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