Sunday’s Wisdom #170: Friendly Disagreement

“Moriko was fascinated by how the two of them could disagree on such an important topic and still be friends.”
– from The Wind and the Void, by Ryan Kirk

The exact details surrounding this quote are pretty complicated, involve a tremendous amount of spoilers, and would probably only distract from the obvious point. So, I shall simply say that Moriko is observing two good men who disagree on something pivotal for their people, yet remain not only friends, but practically family.

Such a thing seems tragically rare these days, doesn’t it?

I wonder when it was. When did we start seeing friends who disagree with us as enemies? When did we start hurling insults by reflex? When did we divide ourselves into “sides” and forget that we’re all still people? And when did we first attribute evil and inhumanity to any differing perspective?

It’s heart-breaking.

I must readily admit, I am as guilty of this as most anyone. I was especially prone to it in my teenaged years, but even so much later, I still sometimes find myself repeating the same mistake. “Why can’t these people see the truth?” I think, “Why can’t they accept the evidence? Why do they have to attack us? Why can’t they listen?” And soon enough I am doing exactly what they are, and voila, we are trading insults instead of talking like reasonable adults.

(there is a reason I try not to talk politics on this humble blog of mine)

I am quite ashamed of my behavior sometimes. How do I stand for what I believe while avoiding vicious arguments? How do I talk to my friends who disagree with me on pivotal issues without destroying our friendships?

Well, I think I could start by getting a better hold on that urge. You know the one, where we see or hear someone saying something rude, and we respond quickly and angrily, because we just have that urge to respond immediately.

I think I could also stand to avoid the obvious trolls and more aggressive comments.

And then there’s always keeping in mind that these people I am arguing with are people just like me, just with a different point of view.

In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Return of the Jedi, “You’re apt to find that many of the truths we hold dear depend greatly on our own point of view.”

And there is the crux of the matter. We had to remember that all of our points of view are valid, especially those that disagree with us.

I know I’m still working on that, and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Good luck to all of us!

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