August 11, 2018
What we learn and the people who influence us as we grow up has a huge impact on what we believe.
Is it the truth?
What is real or false or is it somewhere in between?
Talks end when someone leaves no room for any discussion of opinions other than their own. The facts or fiction they know as their own truth.
Can we agree on disagreeing? Even that seems difficult for some folks.
Tell me what you believe and be open to what I might assume. Possible, we are not both wrong, your opinion may have merit, so could mine. There can be a common ground.
A problem exists
We may conclude a problem exists; we may not agree on why or how it happened.
When I was growing up my father had precise biased opinions of everything under the sun. I soon learned my opinion did not matter to him and my valid arguments went on deaf ears. With a comment of “children should be seen and not heard”.
My mother looked in sympathy and I knew she struggled with allowing me to voice an opinion and trying to keep peace in the household. She lived under the rule, it was her financial security. She had a small house cleaning job for a few hours a week which did not give her much choice in defending me. I could soon leave, she would remain there forever.
I grew up with bitterness of never being acknowledged of having any valuable opinions, which resulted in an overwhelming case of being an introvert.
Before I ever married or had kids, I made a vow to allow my children to ask whatever was on their minds and that their opinions mattered. With that promise I raised an extrovert.
Over the years I acquired lots of opinions and with a flexible demeanor changed much of my assumption. Willing to see many sides of a discussion and even to the point to admit not knowing what I believed.
Not indecisive, but more of being so open to many aspects of life, death, religion, politics, health, environment, climate change, homeless problems, psychology, and whatever else is worth the time to debate. By the time most people reach their mid-fifties, their opinions are carved in stone. Never will I try to change a die-hard, but I am open to listen to them. Will I walk away and hold their opinion as now mine? Probably not. But I will take into consideration the opinion and filter out what holds any merit to the way I perceive things.
Not everything is black and white, except maybe pandas! But they even have a pink tongue.
Example: We learned 1 + 1 = 2. Being open-minded you might debate it to be true or false. The factor of what the ones are, contribute to an opinion which the equation can be questioned. One apple and one orange equals 2 items of fruit. If you divide each fruit in half, then your one and my one now equals the same quantity of fruit. But two items can make you question if they are different, can they even be considered? One orange and one bike, two items but they are not even comparable. You can share the orange with a friend and take turns riding the bike but the only thing remaining in tack is the bike. Fun to ponder if one plus one is two.
Egos or listening
Life is too short to throw down the gauntlet over bruised egos. I have seen people retreat from great causes due to something that has nothing to do with the cause. Be open-minded allow others to their opinion, you don’t need to agree or rally around it. If the subject bothers you so much, excuse yourself from the discussion or the meeting.
To walk away without at least hearing someone out resembles a child throwing a temper-tantrum. Yep, my father was one of those. He was the boss of us unwitting little souls under his rule. No one else gave him the respect he so craved. His hot head opinion on how people should act, cost him a good paying job. That job could have provided us with more luxuries in life. Pride can be the downfall of many foolish humans.
People live by what they perceive to be true. You can nudge a little in your direction but to change someone from who they are or what they assume, is ludicrous. They will be angry, when you are out of sight will talk about you with malice, and soon forget about your existence. No point in being a tyrant, the action only hurts yourself.
If your opinion coupled with an ego is so important your true cause in a group disappears; now is the time for soul-searching. Groups of people even following the same cause can hold a wide range of opinions. I find it hard to fathom an ego so large would tarnish the main purpose of the cause a person once held to be worthwhile.
People can change and so can opinions.
Take the medical field for example. Years ago they held the opinion to make people healthy when ill, was to perform bloodletting. Thank goodness they found this not such a good idea. Imagine if opinions never changed, would we even want to go to a doctor when ill? Not to mention cures that included heroin, morphine, lobotomies, read more here. Link on insane cures.
I am glad responsible changes happened. If medicine had not embarked on different opinions and change their way of conducting procedures, we would still have barbaric practices in the medical field.
Nice to walk in to the ER and plan on coming home in one piece. Then spending a few weeks of peaceful recuperation at home from the experience.
With old opinions we would still assume the world is flat. Thank goodness inventors took the risk to try new things and create new technologies for us all to enjoy.
I remember the first hand-held home scanner. A ridiculous device that didn’t work unless your hand was super steady. After numerous attempts we boxed up the device and requested our money back. $150 useless piece of equipment. We got half a page of copying done, it was wavy and very hard to read. But they worked hard and figured how to make scanners easy to use. Today scanners are excellent devices which are part of our printers.
Grateful again for many open-minded people who realized there are alternatives and tried again until they were successful.
What do you do when your friends and family are on different sides of a volatile subject?
Any experiences on being open-minded.
Comments are welcome.