I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a conversation with someone and they mention their thoughts on a topic. Maybe it’s political or religious, or maybe it’s something completely apart from both of those things. The memory that always remains so vivid in my mind, though, is the anger I feel. And the frustration. Why? In those particular talks, the other person has a different belief or view than I do.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a very stubborn person. I like things the way I like them, and it’s weird for me when someone does things differently. This is insanely true when talking about differing opinions. So often, I find it hard to understand why someone could think this way. Why can’t they see it the way I do? Where does that divide come from?
In essence, I think it would be so much easier if everyone in life just agreed with everything I think. Period. The end. But…would it honestly be better that way? Or even good?
I know I’m not alone when I say I feel that frustration and sheer weight of those conversations, but does that mean anyone needs to change?
Look around you. Our world is built on differences. If we all thought and did things exactly the same as every other person, what uniqueness and beauty would we have? None. Life would be bland; a canvas with no colors or shapes.
More specifically, I call all of you United States citizens to look around yourselves. Look at our government. It’s created specifically so that we have differences. Parties with differing opinions fight to become the driving force behind change in our country. It happens every day, and it’s important.
Photo: Cody Engel on Unsplash
We need those differences to change and grow. We need others who think differently than us to push us to become better than we were yesterday. Or even an hour ago. We need to see things that we don’t agree with so that we can acquire empathy, understanding and knowledge.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we should fight to the death about political disputes, but there should be well-structured and mature arguments. We need to perfect our skill of compromising, because it’s one of the most useful tools to have.
So the next time you flip on your news station and see two people vividly expressing their thoughts on something, don’t just roll your eyes and switch channels. Take a second and think about the fact that they’re able to do that, open and freely. Think about what a privilege it is to have that right and why it’s so important that sometimes, we do disagree.