03/31/2017 Personal Growth
What does it take to have a healthy debate on controversial topics? It may feel impossible—that the world is just too divided—but here are some tips to help you cultivate awareness, practice patience and love, and learn to understand another person’s view.
Recently, there seems to be a lot more public debates than ever before. From the way our society should be ran or what is morally correct, to how and if politicians are serving our communities, there are more controversial topics than most of us can keep up with.
Why do you see and hear more open debates now vs. previous years? Obviously, the number one answer is social media. You can now debate all day with people all over the world.
But there is another reason as well: evolved consciousness. Humans continue to evolve, creating a deeper intuition and increased resistance against falsehoods. Generations prior to those alive today chose to be silent more often and stay in their safe zones by not letting neighbors know that they think differently or not talking about sex so that people won't know you engage in it.
This is not our world today and that is fabulous growth! We talk, we discuss, we let people know upfront if we feel a politician is crooked.
So how can you have healthy debates so that they benefit everyone? It may feel impossible; the world is just too divided—or is it?
The following tips are painless and simple, and will help you to understand the other side of an argument. The trick to utilizing them is cultivating awareness. With these ideas, you can begin to change your perspective; however, this does not mean changing your mind, but rather changing your process of communication.
Typically, a debate begins behind some sort of passion. Two people have a large amount of energy and emotion fueling their words. Passion is a powerful force for accomplishing goals in life, but it can also block your window of understanding. If you only look through one side of a window, you only see one view. Take a moment to change your view with the following actions:
- Ask as many questions as you can about the other person’s feelings and passion behind the topic. What fuels passion the most on each side of the debate?
- Read the books, articles, and newspapers this person would be interested in.
- Travel to the areas where the people on the other podium live.
Past, Present, and Future
You have a past that has molded, programmed, and sculpted you into who you are today. You can only understand as far as your consciousness has been expanded. No, you are not “better” than another person if you have wider expansion—you are just different. Each of us has our moment in time when we are meant to evolve. Taking this into account, be that expansion for each other. Go deeper than the surface with your questions or thoughts.
- What from our past molded us to these beliefs or opinions? How were our pasts different?
- Where are we at currently in our separate lives? Do our lives parallel in certain areas?
- What do we each desire for our future, the future of our planet, and our children?
People tend to be more emotional during the current state of humanity. This is wonderful, but also dangerous. You live in a tech age with information firing at you like a rocket full of confetti. Grabbing one piece and calling it truth or getting upset is not helpful to either side.
When it comes to your stance on any topic, I highly suggest learning as much as possible. Yes, this means you sometimes have to read or watch your counterpart’s favorite shows. For example, in sports one team watches the rival team’s previous games. Countless hours are spent playing back how they move, talk, run, communicate, etc. Anything you intend to change or achieve in life is the same. Here are some tips:
- Go back into the history of the topic.
- Ask older generations their perspectives as well as small children. How do humans see differently now vs. then?
- Ask the tough questions to verify how much the other and yourself believe what is being said and how much is from the fear of being authentic. Authenticity can be a scary place when you are the only one in a particular environment who is on the opposite opinion.
- What evolution has been made on the situation? Has the other side contributed in a positive way?
Find Common Ground
Many debates, arguments, and protests all come from a good place. Although you may have your own ideas of how to achieve particular goals, these are basic human wants:
- Reliable work with fair pay.
- Clean food and water.
- Nice environment to raise children.
- Health care for everyone, young and old.
- Freedom to live how you desire.
When any group or person feels the above list is threatened, they become upset, depressed, angry, and often blame others. The 'others' that are blamed will more than likely be those of another group or race that they do not understand. Again, this is where the research and questions come into play. You cannot make another person research or even have desire to learn but you can ask questions that make them think while partaking in conversation.
Finding common ground can be found if you practice patience and love. We are here to work together, build each other up, and detach from the programming that has been placed upon us since birth. Whenever you find yourself in any debate, remind yourself of the labels you were given before you even take your first breath: your country, your sexual preferences, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the religion you follow, your name—so many labels that you know as pure truth until you begin to adventure through life.
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