Monday, January 23, 2017

on disagreeing

I've been thinking a lot recently about the division that is currently happening in our country. We are in a time of civil unrest and there is a clear division on many issues. Every day, I see hateful rhetoric and name calling from both sides that makes me ashamed of the human race. Every single day. 

This leads me to believe many people are lacking a skill that is vital to the success of America: the ability to disagree respectfully. 

One of my best friends sat on my couch this weekend and we had a three hour conversation about politics and religion. Yes, politics and religion. We each shared our viewpoint on our faith, the election and current affairs and guess what? Although we are on opposite sides politically, we agree on many issues.

On the issues we don't agree on, we can at least understand the other's point of view. She understands that I am not going to waiver on some of my beliefs. I understand that she sees the world through a different lens and is more open minded in her interpretation of how the world should be. During our conversation, we didn't just talk to each other....we listened to each other.

When you love someone, you make an effort to truly understand them and you go on loving them, even when you disagree. During the three hours, not one hateful word was spoken.

You see that is the the way of disagreeing, there can be no hatefulness. There can be no name calling. You will never win anyone to your side by calling them a name. Arrogance is unappealing. Vulgarity never impresses. Profanity is unnecessary and disrespectful. Respect for your argument is only gained when you can present it in a kind and gentle way.

Speaking of respect, did you know you can disagree with someone and still respect the office they hold? I have disagreed with many presidents, politicians and even pastors but I still showed them the respect they deserve. I am teaching my child to do the same. I am raising a child who understands that people in authority deserve respect. Were we not all taught that from a young age?

When you disagree hatefully, you lose credibility; your argument loses all merit. Even if there is a grain of truth to what you say...the truth is lost among the hate. It boils down to this: I cannot respect you if you disrespect people who do not share your opinion. Disagree...don't disrespect because disrespect causes division.

This is a lesson Americans (and our children) desperately need to learn.


Yvonne said...

Loved reading this! So true. What is happening is breaking my heart and I am finding that I am becoming defensive because as much as I have respected others beliefs I have not been shown the same courtesy. I will not let that stop me from being open to listen, but I have learned that there are some you cannot have a rational conversation with. The name calling is so disrespectful and unnecessary. I pray that somehow we can move beyond this division and understand that United we are strong, Divided we will fall. Honestly, I never thought I would see this day in our country. I took for granted what life was like when I was a kid. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this. It really does give perspective.

Keely said...

Well said Tracie. Thank you.

Patricia Sullivan said...

Very well said! I also believe that our society has become lax in reference to upholding the law! So instead of peaceful protesting and respectful communication it is lashing out in violence and criminal vandalism without consequences. A celebrity wanting blow up the White House is that not terroristic threatening????? Tracie respectful communication is vital, you are spot on!

Patricia Sullivan said...
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Mendi Yoshikawa said...

Another Amen from me. :) It was so nice to be in my CHA bubble this weekend away from facebook and all the political unrest. ;)

Amy Ragland said...