What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

19 March 2011

I'm Being Collaborative

It's been interesting, in some of the books that I'm reading, to see how many different paths lead to the same conclusions.

It's not like this is a groundbreaking discovery, of course. There are as many ways to think/believe/act as there are people. But seeing it in print and having to think it over does underline it a bit.

Some use the condition of the planet to encourage reducing, reusing, and just plain thinking before consuming. Others appeal to the economic benefit of making "pre-owned" the norm. And then there are those who do a little of both. (Of course, one may also run across those who believe that there is no need for worrying about the planet or the pocketbook, but I'm not particularly interested in pursuing that point of view.)

Regardless of which category I or you may be in, what mystifies me is how fiercely each position is defended. What could be an engaging discussion with multiple perspectives on all sides instead frequently descends into a shouting match. Or a disdain match, or a blow-off match, or a spin match, or whatever. It's remarkable how such seemingly innocent decisions-- like where to shop-- could lead to this much fuss. And the end of at least one Facebook friendship that I know of (not one of my FB friendships; someone else's).

As a writer and a student of rhetoric, I'm well aware that words have power. Wielders of words can start arguments or stop them. And not just arguments: relationships, elections, wars, holidays, dreams-- pretty much everything worth doing, and a great deal of things not worth doing.

Please, have an opinion. Be informed. Take a stand. But don't turn everything into a turf war. Don't be so locked into your own thoughts that you leave no room for others. And remember that no one person has the monopoly on truth; you will always have something to learn as well as something to teach.

So, arguments? There are plenty to choose from. Which one leaves you bewildered that people even bother?


Charlie's Church of Christ said...

great post Su. A good rule of thumb I just made up is don't share your opinion if you're not open to someone tweaking it, disagreeing or critiquing it.

JEFritz said...

I totally agree with the 'turf war' bit. People tend to make the things they're passionate about into an us-versus-them thing when that's rarely the case. I don't understand why people make things so competitive instead of just working together.

Su said...

@Charlie: Way to make up rules of thumb on the spot! :)

@JE: Yes, excellent point. So few things are truly as polarizing as humans make them out to be.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, my very elderly friend constantly fights the world to defend his opinion, very sad.

Su said...

I would think it would just drain you of energy, if nothing else. :(