Today, someone asked me if we were still friends because a few days ago we had disagreed about something. And I replied that we were, indeed, still friends.
But this got me thinking about disagreeing… While I firmly believe it is more than okay to agree to disagree with friends, loved ones and even enemies, I wonder how others feel about this. If we were all replicas of one another, wouldn’t that be boring? And who wants friends who only agree with them? I don’t know about you, but I like when others disagree or see things from a different perspective because it will either reinforce my beliefs or open my mind to a new way of thinking, and both of those things are beneficial, so what’s wrong with that?
I have, of course, come across others who do not appreciate differing points of views, those who try and try to either push their beliefs as the right and only way of thinking or get personal and attack my way of thinking if it’s in disagreement with their own. I often wonder why one would feel the need to do so… and while I think it says more about them as people than anything else, I still wonder…
Disagreeing is healthy, I believe, as long as one holds respect for differing points of view and places no imposition upon another person, such as forcing their beliefs upon another. Once that happens, freedom is taken away and that’s when one must fight. But if this imposition does not occur, isn’t disagreeing a challenge of the minds? And isn’t that exciting? I think so. But if you don’t, why not? Are you not comfortable with your own thoughts? Do you need others to validate your beliefs or are you confident in them?
We live in a world were there is a lot of information, some valid, some false, some fabricated, some factual, and etc. It is up to us to decipher what is meaningful to us and what isn’t and then deal with the consequences. Others can indeed teach us new things or lead us to strengthening our own beliefs and principles but what is there to fear from disagreeing if one remains respectful and non-forceful?
I have learned many things from those I disagree with and have in turn, changed my own beliefs. At the same time, others have told me they have learned from my beliefs and have changed their own. To me, this is beautiful and makes life interesting.
The next time someone disagrees with you or you disagree with someone else, what if you just stop. Think if you truly do agree or disagree. And rather than get upset or personal and go into attack mode, you state your own beliefs respectfully and engage them in an intellectual discussion.
You never know what you might learn, or teach…