Discussion: the exchange, not attack, of ideas

Jency Clement, Beyond Liberty Editor

“All my views are correct, and if you don’t support my opinions, I will not only hate your opinions, I will also hate you.”
While these aren’t the typical words we hear during a heated, close-minded, political debate (which some refer to as a “political discussion”), this is what is often implied. It’s common to hear people engaging in debates when they don’t even stop to consider other perspectives.
Often, as I speak to people about my opinions, I feel like I’m talking to a wall. And sadly, this seems to be a common characteristic of political conversations, where people engage in debates while they don’t stop to consider other perspectives.
This is a dangerously close-minded way of thinking. Moreover, participating in discussion with people who are unwilling to listen to each other is a complete waste of time; it accomplishes nothing.
Often, I hear political discussions which only result in anger and strong feelings of hatred. It’s clear that if one’s discussions are ending like this, he or she is doing something wrong. If you are participating in a political discussion without wanting to change or understand someone better, your efforts are pointless.
We live in a world with such vastly different opinions, which makes it necessary to keep in mind that not everyone thinks the same. A person’s opinions do not make him or her superior or inferior to anyone else. While it is not necessary to agree with people, it is important to respect them.
Conversing in a more respectful and understanding manner doesn’t mean that you will end up agreeing with others. But, if you listen open-mindedly, you will surely leave the conversation with a greater understanding of other people.