I like to argue. I like to debate. I also like to ask questions.
I’m not doing this because I’m a contrarian. I’m not doing this because I’m annoying (I’m annoying for a whole host of other reasons…) I do it because I am always looking for new perspective. I do it because I am always looking for the opposite opinion. We only grow by learning, and we only learn by questioning and talking. But somewhere along the line, I think we’ve forgotten that.
Last week my blog friend Kim wrote a review for a book. She really liked the book, while I didn’t. Her review was very accurate as to what happened and how the author explained things.
“Good review. But I still don’t like the book.” I said.
“I didn’t expect you to change your mind.” she replied.
“You didn’t?” I asked. Now here’s where written communication gets tricky because I needed a wink emoji in here because I was totally joking.
“No. Not at all.” she responded seriously.
To which I replied that I was joking, because obviously we are allowed to share opinions and not expect people to change their minds.
This week I wrote a few blogs with what you could call discussionable topics. I was discussing a point I had made with a blog friend, and at one point she said “You’re not going to get me to change my mind.” I responded quickly that my goal wasn’t to get her to change her mind, only think about something in a different way.
There are very few things that are completely right or completely wrong. The vast majority of things fall in the grey area of life. Unfortunately, I think most people only discuss their theory of thought, and only read things, or watch things, that back up their particular ideology. This is a dangerous game. This divides us.
I admit this line of thinking is why I don’t discuss politics or religion. It’s why many people don’t discuss politics or religion. People become zealots to a certain degree- where they just keep telling you their opinion is right, and the other is wrong, and you’re stupid if you don’t agree.
Point of fact- no one is stupid.
Point of fact- there is more than one way to look at any subject.
Point of fact- right and wrong are arbitrary.
Point of fact- no one knows everything.
This is why (with the exception of politics or religion) I choose to discuss things. I look forward to meeting up with my friend S, because she, more often than not, disagrees with me on everything. I love talking to her because she makes me think about things in ways I hadn’t thought of. I need to go out of my mental comfort zone and see the other side of the picture. She may not change my mind, but she has given me food for thought. She has expanded my mind.
If you only study what you know, how do you learn anything new?
Don’t shy away from discussing ideas with others- it shouldn’t mean that someone is trying to force one’s opinion down another’s throat. It should mean opening up another line of dialogue. It should mean temporarily putting your feet in someone else’s shoes. It should mean learning something that you didn’t know when the day started.
Ask a question. Share your thoughts. Learn something new. Think about something differently.
Open your mind.