By Jeremy Rensford
IS it just me, or is society getting more and more polarised? We can tend to ignore, cancel, vilify and abhor those we disagree with. Recent political and world events have brought a parochial hard edge, with strong dismissive opinions now the norm. There was something innocent and attractive about yesteryear when, for example, sporting gladiators could share a beer with their opponents after the game and even the umpires were invited! Now, it seems we are all too eager to find someone that agrees with us and wipe those that don’t. Hard left or hard right? Who’s in the middle these days? What have we become?
I’m a believer in the destination called ‘let’s agree to disagree’. And the best way to get there is to befriend our so called ‘opponents’, and empathise with where they are coming from. I try and do my best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4).” I’m learning that when I take this approach that
I can’t hate even the most diametrically opposed individual and they even become a potential friend.
It’s time that we stop and realise that there’s a lot to learn from those that may not share our worldview. If we come humbly rather than arrogantly and rhetorically what could be a fistfight becomes a growing experience for both parties.
I’ll leave you with a thought, do you know who I’ve had the most arguments with in my life? My wife Linda and she also happens to be the person I love the very most in this world! A coincidence? No! We’ve learned to reason together and most times come to an agreement, but when we can’t figure things out we agree to disagree.
I look forward to seeing some readers of this article down the street soon and let’s have a lovely little disagreement (amongst all the other conversations of course) to deepen our friendship.