Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Passion and Ration

Some guidelines for dealing with the passion with a dash of ration.

“The unfortunate thing about passionate subjects such as patriotism is that some people can tend to become defensive if they perceive their values are being attacked.” *

Let’s admit it. We want everyone to agree with us and to believe what we say without criticism.

Then we get a little more experience, and discover that the ideals and the beliefs we held so dear when we were teenagers, have, thankfully, been toned down with experience and a better understanding of the complexities of life.

Age is a high price to pay for maturity.

Some points to consider before engaging in discussion

1) Are you offering your opinions so that other people can discuss them?

2) Do you just want to have your say?

3) Will you be offended if someone disagrees with you, or offers another opinion?

4) Why are you on a group called ‘debate’, if you just want to shout from a megaphone?

5) ? I’m sure there are lots of other points and you are welcome to point them out.

What are values?

Values are the things we hold dear to us. They are valuable. They are the words we say when we see our friends and family in dire straights, when we see injustice on the TV and we suffer over because often, they don’t really mirror the reality of the world we live in.

Values undergo change, depending on how much money we have, depending on how much we want it, depending on what our friends think, depending on what era we are born in, depending on, well, many things.

If values can change so much, where is the inherent truth in them, and why do we give them so much importance?

If we can perceive our values are attacked, we become defensive. Its true, isn’t it? So, if we know, that our values have changed in our own life time, and would have changed depending on if we were born a Turk, or born a German Jew in 1925, if you were born in any one else’s shoes other than your own, then… we can see that there are many things that can attack our value system, and no wonder we feel so defensive all of the time. Because everything is challenging us all of the time. Isn’t it?

So, how can we win?

By being aware. By being tolerant, and realizing that not everything can be won by screaming. Screaming it louder than anyone else doesn’t make it right. It just makes it annoying.

Discussion, where there is a civil volley of response, is ideal. Sometimes I serve, some times you serve. Sometimes you floor me with an ace, and sometimes I bamboozle you with technique. Its all ok. Its just words.

Remember, you can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.

Comments welcome.

* Written to me in private correspondance

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