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Embracing the ideas of others

Manal al-Marzouqi
Engaging with others’ ideas can be challenging and often leads to debates on right and wrong. However, determining truth in thoughts and beliefs is complex. Pushing personal views is unproductive. Disagreement doesn’t imply deviation from norms and respecting differing ideas matters most.

Understanding and embracing the ideas of others can sometimes be tough. Our chats often turn into debates about who’s right or wrong. But who decides what’s right or wrong when it comes to our thoughts and beliefs? Why do you try to counter my views and pull me towards your own just because you think they’re right? These interactions raise numerous thought-provoking questions about how we
navigate complex discussions, let alone seemingly straightforward ones.
What’s the point of arguing with me about things like which phone is best or whether women should have guardianship? And why do you label certain lawbreaker groups as the opposite? These questions have led me to consider various answers from my perspective. But I’m not interested in arguing over whether these answers are acceptable to you.

None of us gets to be the grand arbiter of society’s beliefs, imposing our personal doctrines on everyone else. Our thoughts are reflections of our beliefs, and naturally, they can differ wildly because, well, we all look at the world through our own unique shades.
If you happen to agree with me, that’s great, and the discussion can be wrapped up. But when our perspectives diverge – totally normal by the way – you don’t have to shoulder the burden of changing my convictions. Just because we see things differently doesn’t mean I am deviating from societal norms or veering away from what is considered right. It just means we’re looking at things differently. I have my own way of thinking. We can talk, you can argue with me, we can agree or not, but that’s not the issue. The most important thing is respecting each other’s ideas. By understanding where you’re coming from, I’m showing you respect, even if we don’t see eye to eye.

Lately, I’ve been exploring other people’s thoughts, and I found that "X" can be like a battleground of opinions. As soon as someone shares an opinion, it often leads to attacks and heated arguments. It goes on until one side emerges triumphant, even if it involves resorting to animosity and hostility towards the opposing side.

Conversations turn into fights, where insults and finger-pointing abound. This negative turn affects even those who are just reading. There are always consequences and accusations that come out of it. As Thomas Paine put it, to argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead. Opting for silence over futile battles isn’t waving the white flag of surrender, as some might misconstrue it. It’s more like a power move, an affirmation of self-respect and strength. One of the most profound lessons I’ve gathered from these fruitless arguments is the power of silence in the face of discourse. Our seemingly innocent discussions could potentially harm us one day if they’re misunderstood or if they inadvertently cast a shadow over our original intentions.


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