When You Can’t Agree…

This post was written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “agree.”  Also linking with Sunday Thoughts.

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It was not a conversation I was looking forward to.

I felt that I was being pushed into it by someone who wanted to prove to me that I was wrong.  The disagreement was about a matter of faith, and so they had arranged for me to talk with a retired minister so that he could set me straight.

I agreed to talk with him, but I was dreading it.  I knew what I thought, and why.  It was something I had thought and prayed about long and hard.  I believed I had good, biblical reasons to back up my point-of-view.  I was just worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate them and that this man was going to try to force me to change my mind…

In the end it was one of the most refreshing conversations I have ever had.

Yes, we disagreed on this particular issue, but it never became about trying to win an argument.  Instead our conversation was characterised by mutual respect.  There was a willingness to listen on both sides.  I was able to express my views and feel that they were being heard, and I never felt under pressure to argue my point.  I listened as he explained his perspective, and was able to understand it more.

By the end of the conversation we still disagreed, but we parted as friends.  Despite our different views we respected one another and wished each other well.

That conversation was several years ago, but I have never forgotten the lessons:

We can disagree and still love. 
We can have opposing views but still show respect. 
Instead of viewing one another as enemies we can enter into conversation and listen to each other’s perspectives. 
We can remember what unites us instead of focusing only on what divides us.

I think the world would be a better place if we could do this more.

I never thought I’d link to a beer ad here, but I think this one by Heineken illustrates the point well!  If you have a few minutes it’s well worth a watch.  

 

 

The Mom Gene

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40 thoughts on “When You Can’t Agree…

  1. I love your story and your courage not to back down on what you believed is right, Lesley. You prove we can have different view points and still respect each other. Anyway, this post is refreshing. Even the video. I would never have thought it would be a beer commercial (until the end), but it certainly is a great illustration. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lesley, we were definitely in one mind today. I love the way you have expressed these thoughts. “Instead of viewing one another as enemies…” That is such a powerful and provoking perspective. Why do we make enemies of people who think differently to us? I think that is what I was trying to get to in my post – that there has to be goal that goes beyond agreement and I think that goal is understanding. And after reading your thoughts here I would add to that, both parties walking away feeling respected (at the very least) and maybe even loved and valued. Thanks again for sharing! Love Kara xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a blessing – and powerful lesson – that conversation was. Something to use as a guide when any of us find ourselves in those type of situations and discussions. No need to run from the discussion but to listen, to respect and to enjoy the common ground that initially brought you together. Thanks for sharing your story – and for stopping by earlier today!! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely wonderful, Lesley! I think the lessons you haven’t forgotten and shared today should be banners that run across every tv and screens of devices so that everyone is reminded of these truths!! It WOULD make the world a better place! You’ve made my world a little better by sharing your thoughts and the video. Thank you! Cindy Wilkins

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lesley, You said much of what I said this week but so much more eloquently. I love the Heineken commercial! It expresses “tolerance” beautifully. In the end it’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s about being people and respecting each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the post, and love the ad! (Yes, I’m a Heineken fan.)

    In my world disagreements usually went like this:

    “You’re wrong, you b***** tosser!”
    “Yeah?”
    “Yeah!”
    (sound of punches and kicks landing, followed by groans)
    “What were we arguing about then, mate?”
    “I thought you might remember (spits)…oh, there goes a tooth!”
    “Fancy a pint, then?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it, Andrew! Loved your little dialogue- it is easy at times to get so caught up in the disagreement that we forget what it was all about in the first place!

      Like

  7. Man oh man.

    “We can disagree and still love.
    We can have opposing views but still show respect.
    Instead of viewing one another as enemies we can enter into conversation and listen to each other’s perspectives.
    We can remember what unites us instead of focusing only on what divides us.”

    yes to ALL of this. Why is it so hard to agree to disagree and still respect each other and live lives that reflect our beliefs. It doesn’t have to be antagonistic. Thank you for linking this up and giving me a deep breath of fresh air on this Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Lesley! What a wonderful experience! I would have been very intimidated in that situation, thinking that my perspective wouldn’t be honored. But you know, maybe that retired minister felt the same way going into your meeting too.
    We CAN exchange ideas and be civil. We don’t have to agree, just agree to respect each other. That can be hard, but it’s really important. How else will we learn about other perspectives?
    Sunday blessings,
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ceil! I did feel intimidated. I’m not sure he did- I think at first he thought I would be easy to persuade, but then he realised I actually had well-thought-out reasons. I’m just glad he was so respectful and willing to listen. It’s good to talk and understand other people’s perspectives better even when we don’t agree. Blessings to you!

      Like

  9. Amen to this, Lesley! When we are willing and able to have a conversation together over something we disagree on, and come out as friends still in the end, progress has been made, even if no one changed their mind on the original issue. Thanks for sharing this lesson with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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