Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Art of Disagreeing

“I used to get upset if someone expressed an idea I didn't agree with. It would frustrate me to no end if they took a position that seemed unreasonable to me.” 

It seems as if lately, many people think that everyone should agree with the way they think.

I don’t know when it became an “all or nothing” kind of world.

People in different political parties are attacking each other for believing in different things. I believe that having differing opinions is what makes the world real. If everyone believed the same things, we would live in a cookie-cutter world and life would be boring! People have different life experiences so their perspectives on different things may be different.

I have a friend who was married to an alcoholic and had a terribly abusive marriage. She hates anything that has to do with alcohol or drugs. She won’t read or watch anything with alcohol or drugs in it. I have another friend who was brought up in a very religious home who is easily offended by profanity. She won’t read or watch anything with profanity in it. Yet, we are all still friends even if my beliefs are not as strict as theirs.

Some people get offended by books and want them removed from shelves so no one else can read them. Why not let others make their own opinions? These people can write reviews and if people believe the review, they can avoid the book.

The same goes for movies. When some people are offended by movies, they want the movies removed from view. Why do these people think they have the right to decide what I can watch? They should share their opinion in writing or speak with others, but they shouldn’t have the right to stop me from seeing it if I want to see it.

If people don’t like something and write reviews or share their opinions, like-minded people will avoid these books or movies and not give money for it. When there is no money to support that book or movie, it will be replaced by others.

When I’m in a social group, any discussion about politics can turn into a nasty argument with both parties becoming aggressive and nasty. If I don’t like a certain politician in my district, I will vote for someone else. I can share my feelings with others, but I don’t feel that others should agree with me. Those that feel my opinion is something they are interested in may do their own research to make their own decisions.

Ireland and Northern Ireland had a war over religion. Why did some people think that everyone had to be the same or that one was better than another? Why couldn’t they just let the others believe what they wanted as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else or put any lives in danger.

I remember my mother always saying that in social situations, stay away from discussions on politics, religion, and money. No one wins but everyone tries.  Why can’t we agree to disagree? I think we should be able to share our opinions without the fear of being attacked because we don’t agree with someone.

How do we teach our students that it is alright to have a different opinion? How do we teach students to be tolerant of those that don’t agree with them? Please share.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

No comments: