I’ve never been a great debater. I don’t even like watching debates because I can see both sides of most arguments, and I don’t like to see anyone lose. But these days with politics continually running on 24/7 news stations there’s lots of fodder for posts. And people take sides loudly and regularly. Sometimes it’s made me uncomfortable…and a few times I’ve thought about unfriending folks who have vastly different opinions about religion and politics than my own.
But I’ve never unfriended anyone. Because if I unfriend someone because they think different than me how will I get to hear the other side of the argument? How can there be any expansion of my mind, any reconsideration of other points of view if I don’t even see their comments?
I thought about all of this yesterday during a morning walk. I was having a Facebook debate about a truck safety issue with a friend. We don’t agree on some things because we come from different life experiences. We base our opinions on the things we know. That’s what everyone does. Some things we will have to agree to disagree about. Other things will be resolved on common ground.
In the end what I came to realize on my walk is that friends don’t have to like the same things, think the same things, support the same things. Friends just have to be open to new ideas, respectful of different points of view. Debate, as uncomfortable as it is, is how change happens.
And change can be good, even when it’s hard.