Time to (dis)agree

April 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

Being liked, I’ve decided, is not a worthy goal. I am reminded of an unusually funny CSI episode where a suspect, a member of a cult that believes that it’s more important to be agreeable than right, is brought in for questioning. The interrogation goes round in round in circles as the suspect admits to everything the police accuses him of, in a vain attempt to be agreeable.

Interacting with people who don’t hate your guts is nice, but at the end of the day, you can’t control what triggers other people. And chances are, if you try to make them like you, you’re more likely to alienate them, eventually. It’s just the way things go. Part of growing up is realizing that people not liking you is a-OK. That’s not always an easy thing. When people find fault with you, or they’re cruel coz they’re tired or grumpy or just plain mean, your knee-jerk reaction might be to blame yourself. Usually it has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Even harder is not taking it personal when people are cruel because they really, genuinely don’t agree with you. Deep down, I think most of us believe that if people just tried hard enough, they’d, well, end up seeing things our way. But – news flash – we aren’t all alike. We are shaped by divergent life experiences, childhoods, biologies, cultures, realities, beliefs. We have different goals. And that’s OK. No, really, it’s OK.

I still don’t quite understand people who thrive off of conflict. Put me in an awkward situation and my obsessive compulsive tendencies to “fix” said situation emerges pretty darn quick. But I think those other people, those people who understand that disagreement doesn’t equal dislike, they’re onto something. The world’s a big place. The universe is even bigger. And we all have a place in it.

We don’t have to spend every waking moment agreeing with each other, or trying to persuade each other of our position. We don’t even have to agree to disagree. We just have to listen to each other’s truths, sincerely and willingly. We may still end up disagreeing, vehemently even, but at least we’ll know why. This is what I believe. Whether you agree with me, or not.

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orphan child Apocalypse soon?

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