It’s easy to get into arguments, this time of year. I’m only 36. I was born with Jimmy Carter in office, with Reagan on his way to easily taking the White House. He took the election, in November 1980, with what can only be described as a sweep. By 8pm EST, he had the office wrapped up.
Since then, every four years, there has been vigorous debate and disagreements for every presidential election. George Bush vs Michael Dukakis. George Bush vs Bill Clinton vs Ross Perot. Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole. George W. Bush vs. Al Gore. George W. Bush vs John Kerry. All of these elections were incredibly tense. Taxes, trade, and our involvement around the world, were main reasons for disagreement for the candidates.
This year, I believe it’s even more so. Neither of the candidates are liked by the other side. I, of course, like everyone else, land on one side. I have friends, who are polar opposite of me. It makes for great conversation, either if neither of us convinces the other to change.
It’s easy to disagree. The world around you shapes what you think. The people you surround yourself with help you believe what you do. A lot of it has to do with group-think.
The friend I think of, when thinking about the disagreements I have with people, is a very close, dear friend of mine. We have known each other since we were about 12. We had similar friends growing up. We lost touch for a few years. We reconnected on a rugby field, and now see each other a few times a month. I am always greeted with a hug, and “It’s so great to see you.” We share beer, love of women, and rugby.
She is diametrically opposed when it comes to politics. We grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same teachers, same type of family. The only difference is the people we surrounded ourselves with over the time that we were apart.
I played sports after work. Worked 60-70 hours a week, and spent a healthy amount of time at the bar. I worked as hard as I could, as much as I could, so that I made more money, to do more things.
She went to college. She spent 4 years in higher education, with people who had never worked a day in their lives. Learned from professors who taught on the basis of theory, not reality.
While I saw my son come into the world, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could even consider abortion. Her views are the opposite.
I paid taxes on the income I made, built businesses with the rest of my money, and wondered how anyone could still be living off the system, while I’m out here, with every opportunity to make as much as I want.
She thinks we need to help anyone who says they need it, regardless of their ability to do anything. If one claims poverty, give them money.
We will be voting opposite of each other this November. While we disagree on politics, we agree on so many other things. I look forward to meeting her again in the next few days, and hear her tell me, honestly, “It’s so good to see you!”
Disagreements are ok. There is no reason to make you hate someone else. All this vitriol right now, with people deciding to be militant in their views, take the time to find the good in the person who is being that way. Live the way you want to live. Respect the people around you.
In these days, where hatred is everywhere, be the love, the shining light to the people around you. You’ll be amazed at how much it can turn someone around.