Recently, there has been a lot of conflict in the news. Gay marriage and the “Rebel Flag” conflicts are two that come to mind. One thing that I have noticed in these and many other conflicts is that when people encounter someone who holds the opposing viewpoint, there is a growing tendency to simply label the other side as stupid, ignorant, a fool, etc. The truth is that well meaning, intelligent people often have opposing views. When that view is held by a passing stranger, it isn’t such a big deal, but when that view is held by a business partner, coworker, family member or other person with whom you have regular contact, it is important to separate the viewpoint held from the person who holds that view. Learning to disagree without being disagreeable is an important skill. It is a skill very worth learning.

Will you take the time to get to know that person before trying to shout them down? Maybe she isn’t such a cold hearted wench just because she holds a different view from yours. Maybe he isn’t an ignorant backwoods redneck just because his idea differs from your’s. Not all people seem capable of being reasonable, but for those of us who live in society, it is a great thing to be friends with those who hold other ideals.

What could happen next? (The KKK and Black Panthers have a hug fest?)

 

 

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