Politics, religion and toilet paper. What do these things have in common? If you immediately thought, people full of…close, but no. They are all connected on differences, the varying differences of opinions that people can have about them that is.
There are donkeys and elephants that seemingly argue about every topic considered, and probably even when considering the topics to consider…or so it seems to this apolitical girl. Then comes religion. This is when you think peace, love and joy would unite people through the disparities. No, it seems to do the opposite. It causes people to divide, fight, and in some cases, even kill. Then a much simple issue, toilet paper, has been known to cause great debate in some homes. Some prefer two-ply and for the roll to spin out from the bottom while others prefer quilted and the roll to dispense from the top.
I admit, life would be a heck of a lot easier if we would all agree and get along. Apparently, this has been impossible since the creation of humans though.
As a child, I quickly learned to avoid confrontation. As an adult, I became skilled at choosing my battles. There were just so many things not worth arguing over. Then, on the other side, there really are.
Critical issues surround life and there are a variety of viewpoints to nearly all of them I am sure. Some people are so set in their views that they cannot even consider another though. And THAT is where the problem lies. Well, at least according to Aristotle.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
I take that statement to mean that to respectfully disagree, you need to be listen to both sides. You need to consider all the angles. You need to weigh the options. Once you have all the facts, and only then, should you consider what viewpoint you prefer. And that’s just the thing, it’s a preference.
I may prefer one candidate over another. I may personally choose to practice one religion over another. However, I still listen to other sides and opinions. Learning about other options helps me widen my knowledge not only about the subject in general but my own viewpoint as well.
For example, in learning about the Jewish faith (from my boyfriend), I researched my own Christian beliefs. I compared some of the differences and read more to see how and why there were different views. In trying to figure out who to vote for, I listened to candidates speak and read on topics. I’ve never chosen a candidate because of a political party. Some years I have selected one party while the next, the other. Frankly, some years that I have voted, I didn’t even pay attention to who was in what party. I just knew that I liked their arguments, stances on issues and appeared the least corrupt option. Never in any of these choices though, do I feel that I am always in the right. I will listen to other arguments and respect them. Why not? I mean, isn’t there always more to learn in the areas of religion and politics? I think so.
Now, as for that toilet paper issue. I can respectfully listen to your debate on quilted versus two-ply. However, if you try to explain the benefits of dispensing your toilet paper from the top of the roll, I will close my ears. I’ve done my research on that topic already and there is nothing really more to discuss. Case closed. Toilet paper that dispenses from the bottom is clearly the superior option. Conversation closed.