What’s the most shocking belief a person you know holds? Think about it for a second. Do they believe the moon landing was fake? That reptilian aliens are living on Earth in the form of the Queen of England or Mark Zuckerberg? That 5G towers cause COVID?
I can’t help but think of all the crazy things people I know have said to me regarding their beliefs. Some of it is conspiracy theories, some of it is political, some of it is superficial, and some of it is just outright weird. For example, I know a person who is likely reading this article who believes “The Last Jedi” is a good movie, which I think is a pretty strange belief. Then again, I think “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is pretty awful, so maybe I’m the weird one.
We live in a world where each person holds at least one belief very dear to their heart.
Have you ever engaged in an argument with someone over their beliefs? Was it political? Social? Religious? What movies are good and what movies are bad?
When I was in high school I got into some pretty spirited debates over morality, religion, politics, social systems, and pop culture. If it’s a valid topic, I probably got into an argument with someone over it. Philosophy and beliefs were big at the Christian school I went to. But the one thing that sticks with me to this day is the phrase that I heard not only in high school but just about anywhere:
“How could you be so stupid to believe that?”
Now, there are some genuinely stupid and immoral beliefs out there, don’t get me wrong. Some beliefs that extremists hold have caused untold amounts of damage and tragedy over the millenia. But in our world, especially with its interconnectedness and the tense days we live in, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people call each other stupid, awful, or other terrible names. Whenever I go on social media platforms or any other type of media, people are genuinely surprised that someone dares to have an opposing belief. Whether that be sports, movies, social justice, or politics, we as humans become baffled when we are exposed to opposing viewpoints. This has caused so much screaming, fighting, and tension among communities and families that lives have been ruined and families torn apart merely because of different beliefs.
For example, I’m sure you have had at least one dispute with either a pro- or anti-COVID vaccine person. Maybe it was a perfectly normal conversation. Or maybe it got ugly and heated. I’ve had both. I’ve noticed so many pro-vaxxers call anti-vaxxers stupid and vice-versa. If there’s anything these vaccines have taught us, we Americans certainly like getting up in a fuss about things, no matter which side you are on.
But, if I was able to say one thing on all media platforms for all the world to see, it would be, “Have you ever considered that the other side believes their belief just as hard as you do yours?” Yelling and screaming at someone isn’t going to change their minds. Hearing them out and respecting them and their opinions while leaving room for healthy debate (sometimes) can.
I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’ve gotten into some pretty heated arguments and walked away going “Man, that person’s an idiot.” And you know what? I’m sure they thought the same thing about me. But I’m so tired of this yelling and screaming that doesn’t seem to solve or resolve anything. Both people just walk away angry and nothing positive was gained by having the conversation in the first place.
I was eating lunch with my buddy who thinks “The Last Jedi” is a good movie. We got into a discussion about COVID and how it should be handled, and I specifically remember him saying when we disagreed on something “Hey, it’s a conversation. That’s how conversations work.” I truly do feel if we had that mindset, we’d be a lot further in this world, and frankly, there would probably be a lot fewer hurt feelings and broken communities.