What Are We Arguing About?
I learned long ago that the best way to never lose an argument is to not engage in one.
I see people arguing all the time. There are so many conflicting opinions on just about every subject.
Unfortunately, many people argue about the surface issue and don’t get a chance to drill down to see the core issues. This would lead to much more fruitful discussions.
For example, the other day I was having a nice healthy conversation with a friend on a subject on which we had different opinions. By digging deeper, we found out that we had vastly divergent takes on the nature of humans and the universe.
All of us look at the world differently. How we were raised, educated, and our life experiences color how and what we see in the world. That color impacts everything we experience.
If I think people are inherently good, when someone swerves into our lane on the road, I might think the driver was in a hurry and didn’t see us. Someone else, who thinks people are inherently evil, might think they cut us off to be mean.
Who’s right? We would only know if we stopped the driver and they told us their truth.
As in everything, it’s all about perspective. My perspective and therefore, my version of the truth, could be wildly different from someone else’s. Does that make me right and their’s wrong? Who’s to judge?
Many of us have been taught there is an absolute truth and it’s someone’s job to get everyone to agree. I believe that truth, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Trying to force others to believe in your truth is why we spend so much energy arguing.
The next time you find yourself disagreeing with someone, recognize first that you might both be right. Second, ask deeper questions to find out how your world views might be different and how that might impact the topic you’re arguing about. And just maybe you’ll learn something really interesting!