It has only been 12 hours since we got back from Macedonia, and though I didn’t make a conscious decision to practice disagreeing well, I did something uncharacteristic. Or something I had forgotten (how) to do.
Speak up even when a group seems silent.
We often wait to disagree well till we have a worthy enough topic. But then, when do we practice expressing our own opinion? …even if that makes us an outlier. Thinking differently can be isolating. Speaking up can be uncomfortable and futile.
A group is discussing an event. Something unforeseen (and unfair in my opinion) comes up. The moderator asks if we’re ok with it, but then offers supporting arguments why it’s not a big deal.
Two people respond. They agree. The rest are silent.
So I express my concern and the fact that I don’t find it reasonable. A slew of comments follow, trying to convince me otherwise. It feels like an attempt to silence my opinion. To not stir drama. Is my opinion so outrageous? And I feel awkward and alone in my group of friends. We sometimes want peace and resolution at any cost. Nobody agrees with my point of view. So I state it kindly. I state that I’m concerned with the principle itself, and that I don’t want to be embarrassed to share my different opinion, be it singular and different than everyone else’s.
Then the moderator of the discussion agrees, and for the first time I sense we are looking for feasible solutions. Diverse solutions.
Two things have made a huge difference in my heart. I did not want to manipulate the situation. I held the resolution lightly. But I expressed my opinion in a clear manner, respectful, and I realized I didn’t really care what we decide in the end. My voice was clearly heard, and this time, in the end, it made a difference.
Passivity is an aggressive virus. I have been guilty of it many times. Maybe speaking up, we give others a voice, or we inspire others to have a voice as well.
Love well through the integrity of mind. Love well by not agreeing with everyone and everything all the time.
Love well by disagreeing well.