Today, a co-worker and I had an earnest and intelligent discussion about food philosophies. She espouses a certain food lifestyle that I wished to know more about. I had read opposing views and seen conflicting statistics and wondered what the “real” story was. To be perfectly honest, I leaned a little bit against her views, but sincerely wished to understand the other side better. We had a wonderful and serious debate, where she allowed me to present the views which clashed with hers. She listened to me. I listened to her. And then we went back to work.
Does it ever seem to you as if this situation RARELY happens? Why does it sometimes feel as if you CAN’T express a contrary opinion, even if you are just searching for answers? Why can’t we talk about our various beliefs and inquire about the why’s and wherefore’s of someone else’s views without it becoming a heated argument?
Now, perhaps someone’s dietary choices are not a sufficiently inflammatory topic, and so of course our conversation was civil. Maybe if we had talked religion or politics, the outcome might have been very different. (I really don’t think so, however, knowing what a sweetheart my co-worker is.)
Does the topic matter? Do the personalities of the conversationalists matter? I think “yes” on both those counts.
But wouldn’t it be a relief if we could all temper our egos a bit, let the other side to be heard, and allow for the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the thoughts that rumble around in our heads might be incomplete, or even wrong?
It is nice to have a discussion, conversation, even intellectual debate with someone when they don’t take things personally, but it is challenging for most to detach ego.
You are so right about that, Julianne. It can be very tricky!
I’m curious about the food/diet discussion!
We were discussing the current “raw food” trend. The Smithsonian Magazine recently interviewed a scientist who was against an all-raw-food diet. Like everything, there are pros and cons, and you can find support for both sides.
Love how you mention that if we put aside ego civil debate is possible! I wish I could just leave my ego on the bedside table each morning, so that during the day I could walk around with an open mind 🙂
Hmmm…. maybe we could come up with a little bedside Ego Holder? A nice round, handcarved and handpainted little box with a safety latch so it can’t sneak out…… Love it! 🙂
Aimee, great topic. It is always special to have someone to talk with who agrees with the topic of conversation and gives great support. But is extra special to have the same conversation with someone who is not as agreeable, has a lot of questions and gives you respect. I think it is also important what we do with it after the conversation. Do we say in our minds or tell other people that person is crazy or just hmm… think about it and put it into our mind”s library for future reference.
Susan, you hit it right on. Very well said!! Thanks! 🙂