Your Arguing…

I don’t want you to agree with me on this.  I don’t want you to disagree, either. I want you to understand what it is that I am saying. Any person, with any amount of knowledge or understanding, can either agree or disagree to an argument that is presented. It doesn’t take a whole lot to do either. It does take something, though, to understand.

An argument is typically defined as

: a statement or series of statements for or against something

: a discussion in which people express different opinions about something

: an angry disagreement (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/argument)

Think about this for a moment: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~~ Attributed to Aristotle.

Remember, trying to understand the other person’s viewpoint takes a bit of extra work. Clarifying definitions, understanding positions, and seeing their goals are not always so easy to do.

It takes time. It takes patience. It takes a desire to know. Do you have what it takes?

The apostle Paul, in the Bible, once wrote that he became “all things to all men, so that by some means he might win a few.” (I Cor. 9:22b)  This doesn’t mean that he accepted the lifestyles of those he came to understand. It simply means that he tried his best to understand the other side’s view, so that he might apply the strengths and weaknesses of what they had to more readily accept his message.

Viktor Frankl once said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Would you choose to hear someone out, to really hear and understand their views? Would you be able to keep your biases outside of your hearing? It takes discipline. More than that, it takes courage.  Most do not have what it takes.  The next time you find yourself in the midst of an argument, take the time to think about your position. Lay it down for a few minutes and listen to what the other person is saying. Listen beyond their words. Listen to their silences, as well.

When you begin to practice this sort of communication, you will begin to grow by leaps and bounds. You do not have to accept what is being told to you. You should try to understand, though.  In that understanding comes strength.

 

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