Dianne J. Shaver, M.A. Destiny Coach
Lately, I have noticed how polite people are when discussing an issue. This is especially true if there is a group leader. Everyone seems to support the leader’s opinion. But, I’m wondering what happened to difference of opinion? When did it become necessary to embrace doctrine no matter what? There can be different points of view without vilifying each side. It can be as simple as “This is how I see it. I understand that you see it differently.” And that’s all there is to it. No one is right or wrong. Each person ‘knows’ what they know.
Why is consensus important? Why is it the only thing that seems to matter? When there is more than a single point of view it allows people to ‘chew’ on it. Think it over in their own minds. Examine each aspect. Look at things in a way they haven’t before. They may then arrive at an entirely different conclusion. But it would be a considered opinion, not a knee-jerk emotional reaction that makes one person right and the other wrong.
From my point of view, it’s not necessary to go with the majority on an issue. It’s okay to be the only one who sees it the way you see it. It’s your right to see it the way you do. You are not wrong. You are bringing to bear your life experience, upbringing and education on the issue and this is what you have arrived at. In truth, most things are opinions, anyway. That includes scientific research. If you look you will find that on any subject there are researchers who have arrived at diametrically opposed conclusions with evidence to support their findings. Even cultural mores are agreed upon ways of looking at the world. That’s all they are. In other words, your view is as good as anyone else’s.
There is another aspect here that needs to be mentioned. For a community, country or culture to survive there has to be agreed upon values, such as respect for the individual, their safety, right to exist, worthiness. Respect for individual property. Adherence to traffic laws, etc. The things that keep a community functioning. Those are not the things I’m speaking of here. I am speaking only of mental constructs – opinions, how and what we think about anything. In that case, each person has a right to their thoughts. And, by inference, actions based upon that thinking. So, the line has to be drawn between what keeps a community safe and running well and what falls into the personal view of the world.
When we think independently it is also okay to change our mind. Not through pressure but because as we live with our conclusions we might see factors which open up a whole new way of viewing something. That flexibility allows us to grow mentally and emotionally. There are aha moments when disparate thoughts come together in a cohesive explosion. When something makes sense on a very deep level. That is when a mental construct becomes ‘knowing’ at our core.
I also wonder if this has to do with passion? To be passionate about something? I’m not referring to losing your temper or losing control but to care deeply about an issue and to express it with intensity and commitment. I remember when I lived in cities in the North we would often have heated discussions about issues and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I miss those debates, that intellectual stimulation and the passion.
So I’m going to leave this at civilized disagreement is a good thing. I hope we have more of it. In my world view it makes us wiser, more thoughtful, more authentic and compassionate people.
I want to encourage you to speak your truth and to allow others to do the same. You both will benefit and it’s fun!
My best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach