Sunday, February 27, 2011

Many Angles

One thing I love about friends and friendship is that we don't always agree. Connecting with people, for me, is about having new eyes to look at the world and new views of experience, and sharing them. I don't mind if we disagree, even on some very big issues. There is nothing so much fun as having involved conversations where I present my evidence and views, and get to hear and see someone else's, even if I don't agree.

Apparently, I am very weird.

I have some really excellent, intelligent friends. I love to talk about religion, and politics (though that is harder for me, because I always feel like I should more information). If we vary so very widely and vehemently that it would cause a problem, I'm probably not friends with you (for example, I don't believe you have the right to kill another person for any reason, though I will tolerate a difference in opinion as to defining "person"- but you probably aren't going to change my mind about my own definition). It sometimes takes me by surprise that others are shocked that I don't agree with them, or see the world a they do. For example, I was having a conversation with a friend the other morning, and she suddenly interpreted something I said as a personal comment. When I thought about it, I realized how I said what I said could very well be taken personally if you were taking the whole conversation very personally- and I apologized. I didn't mean it as personal, and I didn't want to hurt my friend's feelings; I just was trying to get a good look at her point of view, since we have very different political views and values, and she has a lot of information about her views that gives me something to think about (after all, media outlets all have their biases...) But I was surprised to realize that to her, it was personal. To me, it was just a discussion of possibilities, problems, and various possible solutions.

Religion is another topic I love that gets me into trouble. The fact that I am religious is potentially offensive to some folks. The fact that I don't take any religious narrative dead-set literally is very offensive to some other folks. Religion, by its very nature, tends to be interpreted personally. Take my post about how I believe in Santa Claus. What a variety of responses, opinions, and attitudes I got, and not just in the comment section! My head spun, especially with how personally so many people took the whole post... which missed the whole point.

To me, such conversations help get you thinking. It allows for connections, weaving thoughts and information together with a focus on a topic or hypothesis. To draw on a myriad of sources, thoughts, facts, and observations is the whole point of having discussions. You can't do that if everybody agrees with you all the time. Well, not very well. How would you really learn anything?


KWombles said...

Great post! I don't think you're at all weird. :-) Conversations would be a blast.

farmwifetwo said...

I don't claim to agree with anyone but myself :) Truth is I really don't care if you agree or don't. But, everyone is entitled to an opinion.... love it or hate it.

Religion and politics... OK, I'm becoming more right winged by the day and grew up in the land of the lefties.... and all that good Mennonite'ism I got as a child has become rather agnostic over time....

Could be fun :)