Friday, November 4, 2016

against the grain

Why do we argue?  I'm not so sure we all do it for the same reasons.  There's an element of happenstance, people merely expressing themselves, in earshot of someone trying to express something contrary.  Next thing you know, they're butting horns, right?

This is not why I argue.  Something I've done quite a lot of in my life.  I basically seek it out, although I prefer arguing with people who are somewhat similarly aligned to myself, in some way.  I have no interest in trolling stormfront, or anything like that.  When I feel we're just butting horns though, I tend to just drop it.  That's not what I'm going for.

I'll often attempt to express myself in different ways, trying to come at the disagreement from different angles, but it rarely matters.  I think in most arguments, there is a core fundamental point of disagreement, that we should be able to reconcile.  Not that we'd agree, but that we'd understand why we disagree.  My ideal outcome isn't to change anyone's mind, or to club them over the head with my superior wit and vernacular prowess, but to get to a point where we can both say that we understand why we hold different opinions.  So much so, that we can no longer condemn each other for it.

Often disagreements seem to go something like this:  Two people are concerned about two different threats.  They might even tacitly acknowledge that both concerns are entirely valid.  They just disagree on which should be the the priority.  Look at their lives, their worldview, what they believe matters in life, what's made them happy, and what's made them suffer.. and maybe I can see why they might have different priorities than I do.  If only they'd be honest about it, instead of trying to undermine opposing views with rhetorical flourishes and childish bravado.

Not that I'm above it all, but I try to be, I think, with some occasional success.  I want to understand people.  I want them to understand me.  That seems to largely be a lost cause, though.  Fucking crazy bastards.

Damn straight their nonsense scares me.

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