Friday, March 27, 2015

Agreement and Disagreement

This blog post is inspired by the upcoming 2016 US presidential election. In Iowa, it gets serious, way too early. I'm not going to go into specific issues, because those are often polarizing, and to write something decent about an issue takes a lot of research and several revisions, and I don't want to spend that long on it today.

One problem I face in political elections is that often the opposing candidates both stand for something I passionately support, and something that is just plain ridiculous. And how do you reconcile that? I mean, we vote for the person, good, bad and ugly. I mean, are we supposed to pick the least worst?

What is interesting about this concept is that politics simply exposes a few people's thoughts and ideas. Aren't we the same? We have friends that we enjoy, who we give lots of our time, yet how often does one have some crazy opinion on something that we have learned just not to ask about? How often can each one of us look in the mirror after having a group shoot down our idea again, and wonder, 'am I crazy to think this is a good idea?' Okay, so maybe this happens to me a bit more than other people, but I know other people have these moments where chocolate covered bacon sound like a good idea. (I had it, it's okay, I don't recommend it.)

I realize that the concept of agreement and disagreement extends to basically all relationships. There are issues where I don't agree with my coworkers. There are issues where I don't agree with the majority of my church. There are issues where I don't agree with other runners. You would not believe the anger in college over recovery foods and drinks we had one time... I have no advice for how to agree with people, how to align as a team. Well, maybe I do, try to see it from the other person's perspective. Also, if the issue is basically irrelevant to the ultimate goals, you can just stop arguing, or even agree to do it the other person's way, and then head off toward more important issues. That's actually something I gained from Boy Scouts, when people are arguing about navigating, just let them take the map and navigate, unless you think they have no idea what they are doing, in that case you take the map. (I took the map away from my parents when I was 14.) The point being, navigating is a very emotional thing, it's a responsibility, it's visibility to the whole group, and nobody likes wasting time backtracking or going the wrong direction. So it can lead to lots of disagreement.

There is no grand point I have today. I don't have the answers. Today I'm just pointing out how often agreement and disagreement seem to go together, and how challenging that can be. And the logical question is, 'why is it so difficult to find people, or even a person we are totally in agreement with?' That's probably an idealism I have about the world that I will not see in my short life on Earth. I suppose... recognizing imperfection is a step in gaining wisdom.

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