As we go through life we come across different people with different opinions every day. We get so caught up in spewing what we think is right that we often forget to listen to what other people have to say. People grow tired of one another, and we start treating those of us who disagree as the enemy of the people. I also believe that this hinders us from growing our own viewpoints or the possibility of even changing our minds to something that is more logically sound.
Conversation, as well as arguments, are vital to our social fabric, our communities, politics, and religion. I am not simply stating that you must agree with the person you are holding opposing views with. Not at all! I am simply saying to take a step back and shut your mouth. Listen to what that other person says, ask them why they believe that certain way or think that specific way. Don’t just argue to have an argument, keep an open mind about what that person is saying, place yourself in their shoes. If you find yourself still in a disagreement, agree upon that disagreement, study their argument and learn from it. We, as humans, often find ourselves to be completely full of ourselves and unwilling to even hear the other side of the story, and, to be frank… it makes you an idiot! When we are so biased in what we believe that we won’t even hear another person out, we lose that opportunity to challenge what it is they believe in, we miss out of furthering our knowledge of that specific topic, and we may even come up with stupid responses such as, “Well it’s just what I was raised to believe.” Or “So and so said it was true, and I am so ensconced with such person that they could never be in error.” First, who cares who said it, do you yourself know it to be true or untrue? Have you done the research? Do other phycologists, doctors, scientists, etc… back up what your “spokesperson” told you to be true. The other reason this can make you look like an idiot is that if you fail to take the time to listen, so will the other person. The potentially productive and thought-provoking conversation turns into name calling and petty claims, and now you both look like two uneducated blockheads smacking each other with rocks.
I have three examples I want to bring up. The first being the Left with Donald Trump. They constantly complain and cry about how he is a horrible president and that he is literally “Hitler." They name-call, riot, confront and scream at politicians in restaurants or those who are “pro-Trump.” When asked what they don’t like about him they claim, “Well, he’s mean.” They don’t name a policy or even a specific act outside of what everyone else is chanting. How do they come off to you? Annoying? Dumb? Intolerable?
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot and talk about Ocasio Cortez. I see ridiculous posts attacking her physical appearance, you really want to be that guy? The other one is how she wore some crazy expensive suit for a dumb photo shoot. Duh, she is a politician! Would you rather have her walking around Capitol Hill in sweats? You have never met anyone in your life that went from working as a laborer and then move up the corporate ladder and still wear the same stuff to their VIP office as they wore down in the shop. It surprises me how many Republicans seem to have thought that she would show up to work in her bartender apparel. It's ignorant, at best! Instead why don’t you point out her contradicting stances, her communist political view, her history? I don’t know... maybe things that matter? Last time I checked, a female pant suit doesn’t have any say in what happens, so try being a little intelligent with your conversations. Personally, as much as I absolutely disagree with her, it is beyond impressive that she went from being a bartender to being a U.S. Representative. Just because you disagree with someone or what they stand for doesn’t mean you can’t show a little respect. In turn, it will make people respect you and what you have to say more.
Lastly, I want to bring up what’s been going on with Ken Ham and Matt Walsh. Matt Walsh does not believe in a young earth creation. Ken Ham, on the other hand, is a very avid young earth creationist. I am a young earth creationist and have followed Ken Ham for a long time. I also have a deep respect for Matt Walsh even though… wait for it… I disagree with him on this issue. To see how Matt Walsh was attacked by other Christians because of his viewpoint was disgusting! Seeing other “Christians” claim that if he believes in evolution then surely his faith is fake. You, yeah you, sitting behind your computer being some sort of keyboard warrior is now telling someone that his faith isn’t real? Isn’t that between God and Him, not to mention it’s not even an issue that deals with Salvation in an immediate way? Even so, the conversation or the argument had absolutely nothing to do with his salvation! AT ALL! It had to do with young earth creation versus old earth evolution. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t it make more sense to hear him out on what he must say, and then respond with your own facts on the side of a young earth? Instead, these “keyboard warriors” slam their hands on their keyboards screaming “heathen” or “surely you can’t be a real Christian.” Use your head, approach the situation listening to what the person is saying and respond to what it is he is saying. Don’t just jump headlong and condemn the guy! You really think condemning him to Hell or telling him He’s a “fake” Christian is going to change his mind? Yeah, 'cause some dude in his mom’s basement telling me I’m going to Hell is really going to make me rethink my views on a topic.
That, for the most part, is what I must say on this topic. When you approach any conversation, take the time to listen. Really try to understand where it is that person is coming from. If you can place yourself in that person's shoes you can find a way to relate to that person, gather your evidence and then approach that person in a much more convincing manner. When it comes down to it, all I am really trying to say is "Shut up and listen," because when you start with the name-calling and the condemnation, it's really making it hard for the people you do agree with to have a logical conversation with those you disagree with. Don’t go into an argument to fight or virtue signal that you believe more than the other person, go into an argument willing to learn. Learn that, hey, maybe you were wrong, or that you were right and this conversation or argument can be used to sharpen and challenge what you believe through more research on the topic. I have learned most from those I disagree with, because when name-calling is not an option it forces me to come back with reasonable logical answers to what it is I believe. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers, but I will sure find them! And if it comes down to the fact that I am wrong, I can do this insanely crazy thing called... change my mind! So, if you plan on getting into an argument and your sole purpose is to change the other person's mind while not willing to learn yourself, I’ll give you some advice: just don’t.
Like it or Hate it, this is my Exodus.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to message me on twitter @str8whiteshoe