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Is it a result of the Self-Esteem movement? Reality TV? Child focused parenting? Or just the general breakdown of society? I don’t have an answer.
Why does it seem increasingly common to encounter people who are unable to deal with disagreement?
Oh No! We Disagree!
- Last month, on a Christian Homemakers group I belong to on Facebook, the subject of Halloween came up. There were loads of comments. Some were not the most tactful, but none were attacking or out of line. People were sharing their views and why they held them. Midway down the comments, one lady posted something along these lines, “I just can’t handle this. We are all Christians and should agree. I am leaving this group.”
- Several years ago, I had a lifelong acquaintance (friend, I thought) ‘unfriend’ me on Facebook because she “didn’t need this divisiveness in her life.” Want to know what spurred this? I posted one post..one post in years and years on Facebook…on a Biblical doctrine that she and I disagree on. (And it was not condescending to her view, simply a video I felt had some good teaching). I posted regularly on ‘divisive’ topics like politics, abortion, and homosexuality. But she agreed with me on those. This, however, was too much.
- Do I dare mention the recent debates? Donald Trump repeatedly interrupted with the single word, “Wrong”, and Hillary Clinton rolled her eyes and scoffed condescendingly. And during the VP debate, Tim Kaine interrupted Mike Pence over 70 times!
- Conservative blogger Matt Walsh received a comment on Twitter saying, “I hope your kids are shot.” Because this person disagrees with the words that he speaks and writes. “I hope your kids are shot.”
- Young adults on college campuses cry and retreat into the fetal position, requiring “Trigger Warnings” be given and “Safe Spaces” be created. Are they being threatened with violence? Nope. It’s words. They can’t handle hearing words.
Playdough. Bubbles. Recordings of Puppy dogs.
These are the individuals who will be in charge of everything one day.
So I ask again…what is going on?!
I have no answers for you. No “List of 8 Ways to Disagree Civilly.” I am dumbfounded.
What I do have for you, as this election day looms, is a few quotes on disagreement that may inspire you…
…to not be the jerk who can’t disagree politely
…to teach your children that hearing words they disagree with doesn’t require a ‘Trigger Warning’
…to seek to learn and grow from disagreement instead of running away
“When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.” -Ayn Rand
“To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable.” – Barry Goldwater
“Friendship that insists on agreement on all matters is not worth the name. Friendship to be real must ever sustain the weight of honest differences, however sharp they be. ” -Gandhi
“Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional” -Max Lucado
“Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.” -Mary Wortley Montagu
“We have a choice about how we behave, and that means we have the choice to opt for civility and grace.” -Dwight Currie
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…” -Jesus
Give it a shot. Let me know how it goes for you!