The Challenge of Discussion

The Challenge of Discussion

Jesus Arriaga Sanchez, Staff Writer

What’s to blame for the growing polarization within our country? Is ever improving technology the corporate or is it our doing? The new norm for avoiding difficult discussions is pressing a block button. A good amount of people have forgotten what a respectful and thoughtful conversation is. In the modern age of snapchatting and direct messaging, key factors of respectful conversations have been lost to keen senses of animosity. 

Civil discourse is a great factor of progression. There is no hope to move past a difficult subject without mutual respect for each position within a subject. Learning to accept other points of views and being more open minded is beneficial and proves to be best for our society. It’s difficult to see past biases and agree to disagree with people on various topics. What’s particularly more intrusive within aspirations of being able to calmly communicate with others is the amount of hate which people perceive for one another during any sort of argument ranging from political views to what cheese is the best. Civil discourse is the pillar of a great country. Without this aspect of discussion, society would crumble onto itself. 

Civil discourse ranges in positive outcomes. Being open minded is one of the crucial steps towards civil discourse. Being open to new ideas and views will allow people to form better opinions rather than close minded assumptions. Dani Dipirro, a website blogger, explains the importance of being open minded. “You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor are you confined by the beliefs of others. For that reason, you are able to have and gain confidence as you learn more and more about the world around you” (Dipirro). Being able to acknowledge and accept different viewpoints is oftentimes the hardest part of discussing civilly. Not being tied down by certain personal or closed minded beliefs allows us to think ahead and even back to certain aspects. Being open minded determines how ready someone is to participate in a calm and abstract conversation which won’t lead to anger or disrespect amongst the participants. As such, being open minded declares the varied ability to converse with others in a positive manner. 

Being able to connect with others on various topics has its benefits as well. Unifying and interlining complex ideas between people of different viewpoints and opinions offers such benefits. John Teng, and editor for the Mid-Life magazine states, “having friends that have different interests from you keeps you on your toes and can even be a key to being more content with your own life” (Teng). It’s easy to be surrounded by people of the same goals and viewpoints. The real challenge lays around establishing friendships with people who are different from you in various aspects. Isolating yourself with people who only agree with you will only lead to a false reality. There will never be room from relationships to grow if in your eyes everything is already complete. Having relationships with people of different views relates to civil discourse because change is inevitable and with the help of diverse opinions and friendships, improvement and change is one step closer. Since different people with different backgrounds and opinions would be more likely to communicate, acceptance and acknowledgement between such people would be easier and less crowded with biases and hatred. 

Although opposing civil discourse doesn’t offer a lot of benefits, there potentially are various reasons to do so. For example we can take a look at how people protest. If a protestor is screaming their ideals and viewpoints out as their way of expressing themselves and a bystander suggests that that protestor shares his views in a more civil way rather than screaming. The voice behind the protestor’s words may not have the same impact as they would in a civil discussion which is why they would much rather scream their ideas than sit down over brunch to get their viewpoints across. In actuality impactful protests all share the abundance of passion between protestors. However, protesting and simply conversing with others are two completely different actions. A protest can be defined as a public expression of objection. While civil discourse is in fact conversing in order to improve understanding. If someone is passionately trying to alter some viewpoint or issue, then a form of a protest is completely acceptable as long as it’s civil. However resorting to immature and hateful behavior when talking with someone shouldn’t be acceptable.

Civil discourse is the key solution to various current issues. Further ignorance can’t continue to be left unchecked. I’ve heard countless stories of people blocking other people because they didn’t share the same viewpoints on different topics. Blocking people out and bluntly saying that what they believe in is wrong and shouldn’t be considered, is feeding ignorance. One of the largest factors of polarization is shutting people with different viewpoints down. The easiest way to avoid such consequently dividing issues is to simply talk things out with people. Although it’s much more complex than that, it is the only way to unify with others and establish a tolerant society.