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Seeking To Understand

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

by Vincent Tran


Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and everyone can decide what they think is right and wrong. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same beliefs. The belief of my way is right and your way is wrong must come to an end. Others may think differently, but by no means should denouncing be tolerated. Debating can only resolve when everyone has a voice, not just insults or prejudice. Empty arguments are sadly however, the usual outcome of an attempt to debate: threats exchanged, yelling, separation, hatred, grudges, an emotional outcome. The real winner of an argument is the one who can understand the other, not who has the last word. 


The key to solving issues is being able to understand each side. Behaving impulsively based on your first thought rarely solves a problem. Each side must acknowledge that their opponent’s perspective is based on personal experiences and knowledge of the issue. You must acknowledge why they think that way. There may not be agreement but there can at least be a settlement that your opinions can be different, without being hostile to each other. Being respectful can travel much further than even the largest jump to conclusions.  


How can you be respectful to someone who has not shown respect back?


Getting respect back should not be the motivation behind you being respectful. Being respectful should be practiced because it can help bring more understanding. There has never been a scenario where a counselor can understand a person more by disrespecting, ignoring, or insulting them. They understand by listening. So why is that not the same for anyone else?


You may not take my word for it but take Harry S. Truman’s. He said, “It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.” Understanding is the root of a vast amount of positive outcomes. By understanding that, much more can be accomplished. Practice seeking knowledge. Practice respect. Practice understanding.

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