Passionate verses extreme: An argument


I’ve noticed a trend across the board, we’re doing things to the extreme. We are no longer fans of things we are obsessed with them (can we talk about our celebrity problem?). We are no longer just vegans or gym rats, we are trying to convert people to our ways. We are no longer democrat or republican we are alt-whatever. We’re taking our ideals and we’re blowing them up so big that we not only can’t agree to disagree, but we’re taking the good things about our movements and completely destroying them.

When I decided to write this post I had to stop and ask myself if there was anything that should be taken to the extreme. I thought, surely you can take some good things to the extreme. I’m a christian so I wondered about my religion, but the moment I started thinking about that I started thinking about Westboro Baptist church and realized that even something good can turn into something negative if we push it to the extreme, because people always cherry pick which things to push and which messages to ignore.

You can be passionate about something without taking it to the extreme. I think that is something people forget when they push off their negative traits on passion. You can be an activist without being extreme.

Continue reading

Agree to Disagree?


Agreeing to disagree was something I was taught to do growing up because, as a lot of us do, I have a sibling. It’s something we teach little kids so they don’t fight and so they learn to respect others opinions. So why does it seem like most adults I meet no longer have this skill?

I noticed this a lot in college. People would talk about politics, or social issues, or what is best for mental health, and it would go from a causal conversation to people shouting out each other in about three minutes flat. Our own politicians can’t seem to debate without screaming at each other. It’s terrible. You’re not always right and neither is the person you are arguing with. But if you can’t calmly hear their side of the story then you will never be able to change their mind or get them to see things through your eyes. I hate to tell you, but telling someone they’re an idiot and wrong is never going to get them to agree with you. Maybe we should try and use the tactics we try and teach our three years olds:

Can you explain why you feel that way? I understand that but have you ever thought about…? I totally see where you’re coming from, I just think we have different ideas on how to solve it. Time for brunch?

Okay, maybe our three year olds don’t get brunch, but you can see what I mean. It’s a very civil approach and it makes sense. I get that sometimes it’s hard not to get super heated about things you’re passionate about, but if you’re trying to spread that passion you have to be able to talk about it in a convincing and polite way. If you get to heated about a topic it’s going to make you angry for the rest of the day and it’s going to make the person you’re shouting out hate your view even more. It’s not just unproductive, it’s counterproductive.

I feel like I could end the post on that, but I want to talk about how many friendships I’ve seen ruined over one or two different views. Friendship is a neat thing, you can be friends with someone and never talk about politics and still have a very healthy friendship. You can disagree on big topics, like religion, and still have a very healthy friendship. How? By agreeing to disagree. By being a grown up and understanding why they think that and why you disagree.

I’m not saying everyone is logical, and I’m not saying you can expect people to always be when you are, but I am saying that most people have reasons for their views, and most the time their reasons aren’t because they hate something. It’s because they have different views on how we should approach these topics. It’s because they don’t understand something or because we don’t understand it.

It’s really possible to step away from a intense debate with respect. It’s also possible to know when not to approach a debate at all. It’s called agreeing to disagree. If a toddler can do it then you can too!