The Beauty in Disagreeing

I don’t like being told I’m wrong, and I bet you don’t either. In a world where headlines, facts, opinions, and news are at our fingertips and often forced upon us, we can easily gain more knowledge than ever and sometimes – big opinions.

I think we have forgotten how to disagree. I’m fully aware we are all good at not agreeing with each other but it seems like we have forgotten the right way to disagree. The election, faith, government involvement, what to make for dinner – disagreeing doesn’t have to mean offending.

I love millennials. Partially because I am one, but also largely because we are passionate for change and success. Where I’ve seen our generation fall short (as wells as the ones before us), is having intelligent conversations about controversial topics. How can we learn about the opposing side, if we are being offended or offending the whole time? We’ve stopped educating ourselves and have instead taken to the likes of Facebook to share a headline or video with the side of which we are on and calling that “making a difference”.  

In a time where the country is so divided, are we really listening? Are we listening to the people who’s stands rub us the wrong way? Or are we just casting them aside without trying to see where they are coming from? You see, I think disagreeing can be beautiful. If our goal wasn’t to change everyone’s opinions to ours, but to learn as much as we can, we would as a whole be more educated and definitely more kind.

After all, if we aren’t listening to others, trying to understand where they come from, how can we ever learn empathy? And if we aren’t empathetic, are we really loving everyone how we are supposed to? Jesus didn’t teach us to just love the liberals or just love the conservatives. No, He called us to love the tax collectors, the “rejects”.  He didn’t hang out with only people He agreed with. That doesn’t mean He didn’t have His beliefs of what was right, nor did He stop teaching on them because they were unpopular. Rather, He spread His message by loving others and understanding where they are coming from.

People don’t listen to opinions when we’re shouting them in their face. People listen when we ourselves start to listen. I’m not saying it’s easy. For us to listen to those we disagree with can be an aggravating process, but watching a country shout so loud all at the same time, from all different ends, to the point where no one can hear anything clearly is even worse.

So stand up for what you believe in, make a change in the world for the better. But if we’re doing it without listening to other sides, are we really being the difference we wish to see, or are we just attributing to the hateful standstill America seems to be in?

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