Updated: Aug 6
Have you ever been in a situation where several individuals are gathered and a conversation starts about a particular topic? In this conversation, a debate occurs and you find that there are so many differing opinions on the topic. During the debate, the dialogue becomes argumentative causing tempers to flare. Somehow, you never get to the point of agreeing to disagree and the debate continues and gets more and more to the point of explosion.
The misinterpretation of information can cause mass confusion. This is what I call division by interpretation. One person’s interpretation of a subject differs from another person’s interpretation and this causes the debaters to be divided in their dialogue and not coming to a middle ground. Tension fills the room causing further division to enter.
Because of the upcoming presidential election, tensions continue to rise. The debates are causing individuals to experience a multitude of emotions from excitement to fear to anger to disgust. We all have the right to our opinion and should make an informed choice regarding who we decide to vote for. The important thing is to vote! On a side note, if you are not registered to vote, if you are a resident of New Jersey, you can go to http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information.html or if you reside in a state other than New Jersey, you can go to http://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote for the registration form and more information. The 2016 presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th. If you’re not registered, it is important to do it now.
Although I was encouraged to write this blog post in light of what has been going on in the current political climate and because of other negative situations popular in the news today, this post can be applied to many areas of life where we have differing opinions.
Here are some tips regarding how to deal with differing opinions:
1. Recognize that each person’s viewpoint is valuable whether we agree or disagree. Your opinion is valuable just as the other person feels their opinion is as valuable as yours.
2. Recognize that speaking in a hostile tone can cause anger to occur and the argument to continue with no resolution in sight. When this happens, you run into the problem of everyone wanting to be right, which will become the bottom line.
3. If a reasonable agreement is not going to happen, calm down and move on to the next subject – simply put just agree to disagree. This is hard to do, and it takes a lot of experience (and maturity) to get to this place.
4. Recognize that we must all respect one another even when we differ in opinion. It’s alright if we don’t think the same.
In relation to how we treat one another, the saying “you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” or “kill him with kindness” should be implemented. We can respect each other even if we don’t agree. Each of us deserves to be respected. Again, it’s okay to have an opinion that doesn’t quite match another person’s opinion. We should strive to not be divided by our interpretation of a topic to the point of anger and frustration, but move toward agreeing to disagree if it is impossible to come to an agreement.
Live, laugh, love, and pray.
God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,
Antoinette Shar’ron Johnson
“Empowering, inspiring, motivating, and uplifting your mind, body, and soul!”
For the 2016 election calendar, go to: http://graphics.wsj.com/elections/2016/calendar/ Image Source: Bing Images