"Climate change is real." "It's a hoax."
"Eating meat is unethical." "People were meant to eat meat."
"Gays are going to hell." "Gays were born that way."
"This recession is caused by (fill in the blank)." "No, it's not, it's cause by (-----)."
I think if we all occasionally used three little words we could end so much fighting. These words could stop the battle over gay marriage dead in its tracks. They could end the debate over creationism vs. evolution. And whether there's a hell (and who's going there). They could go far to patch up some big world issues, too.Who knows, maybe they could end wars! So, have you guessed yet? These three little words are...
I don't know.
See, by claiming to know everything about everything (which implies that people who disagree know nothing about anything) we make enemies. We build walls between "right" and "wrong." We push more and more of our friends to the other sides of those walls until we're alone in our tiny fortresses. Issues become more important than people. And we're unable to use those other three little words:
I love you.
When we do use those words, there are strings attached, and it's more like "I love you when you agree with me."
It's okay to say you don't know everything about everything. It might be hard at first, though, because you'll have to put your pride aside. You might occasionally even have to use three more little words. "I was wrong."
I'm not talking about actual decision making here. We have to learn as much as we can, so we can vote intelligently act ethically. I'm talking about endless debates and arguments, the kind you see on the internet that often end up with participants hurling insults in both directions. I'm talking about political rhetoric that ends up driving people farther to opposite side of issues until meeting in the middle is impossible.
Inability to use these words soon degenerates into pride. Sadly, pride doesn't solve problems.
If admitting you're not perfect seems hard, it gets easier. In my belief system, I have a fallback position; sort of a cushion under my tightrope, and saying "I don't know" isn't hard. I believe God knows. It's in his hands anyway, and I can sleep at night knowing I don't have to solve the world's problems.
Peace, Love, Serenity