I have run into situations, especially with the upcoming presidential elections, where people believe that just because you disagree with them, that you do not respect their opinion. I personally LOVE a good clean debate. And by clean I mean where name calling is not involved. Thats where you get the disrespect. Two civilized adults can respect one another’s opinions, yet be complete polar opposites of the opinion scale.
We would live in an entirely boring predictable world if everybody agreed with everything. Our differences are what makes us special. I don’t believe any two people can completely agree 100% of the time. That doesn’t equal disrespect, that means a healthy, thinking mind. I encourage my children to have their own opinions on things going on in the world, and I challenge them to defend those opinions without using name calling or demeaning language. I firmly believe that once you loose the ability to defend your opinion any other way, you have lost the debate. A true believer doesn’t need to cut anyone down in order to get their point across. At that point, I usually point out that fact and move on. It’s not worth arguing with someone who just chooses to be a bully instead of being productive.
I wish more families could rationally discuss things with their children so that they could learn the art of a healthy, productive debate. Sadly, the examples given in this years elections have not always been the most promising. I feel that it is a fun, healthy way to learn about the types of human beings parents are raising. Too often, we feel our children are little clones of our own belief systems and we end up being surprised when they are not. Children need to learn how to express themselves without resorting to name calling and bullying. And from what I have seen on the internet lately, good examples are few and far between.
A good example of debating a difference of opinion includes being able to express your thought process without resorting to putting the other person down. A sharing of information supporting your opinion, and it includes listening to what the other person has to say. I have never felt attacked during a clean debate, but I have learned so much during them. And sometimes, they have opened my eyes and raised questions that I couldn’t answer. Those who do feel attacked, in my opinion, are not very secure in their own opinions and feel the need to personally defend themselves.
While an opinion is extremely personal, a disagreement about it is not.