Search for the Grain of Truth in Others Opinions

I see I haven’t used one of my favorite post categories which is “Don’t Sweat” for some time so I will correct that here. This category is based on chapter titles of the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and its all small stuff). This is a book by Richard Carlson that was very popular in the 1990s. I often enjoy pulling the book off the shelf and just randomly selecting a topic to think about. The title of this post is the one I picked today.

I am a person who thoroughly enjoys a debate. One of my favorite TV shows was entitled The Advocates. That was basically a debate about various topics of the day by teams of knowledgeable authorities. I think I would have been pretty good on a debating team but unfortunately my high school was just too small to have one and when I was in college I was just too busy learning all the technical stuff I needed in my future life… (it turned out that much of that technical stuff was not that valuable so I do regret not seeking a debate team in those years 🙂 )  Anyway getting back to the subject….

Debating seems to be a lost art in today’s world. With all the politicians constantly shouting at each other and never listening nothing seems to be getting accomplished anymore. Coming from an amateur, debating is about listening to your opponent and then countering logically with your facts. In other words it is about a civil discourse on the topics of the day.

Here are some words from the book about this topic:

Almost everyone feels that their opinions are good ones, otherwise they wouldn’t be sharing them with you. One of the destructive things that many of us do, however, is compare someone else’s opinion to our own. And, when it doesn’t fall in line with our belief, we either dismiss it or find fault with it. We feel smug, the other person feels diminished, and we learn nothing….. If you think about it, when you judge someone else or their opinion, it really doesn’t say anything about the other person, but says quite a bit about your need to be judgmental. When we become judgmental of others opinions it is almost like telling them that they don’t have a right to say what they say. Accept that others have as much a right to their opinion as you have to yours. Look for that grain of truth in what they say and try to build an agreement from there. Don’t diss a person just because their opinion differs from yours.  If only some of today’s politicians would pick up a copy of this almost twenty year old book and take to heart this subject. But then again maybe the media networks wouldn’t cover it anyway. The screaming back and forth gets them the good ratings that sell their commercials. Sad but true the ratings drive today’s media markets. Especially those on the fringes of today’s politics.  But that is another story.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff.

And the journey goes on…..

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