50 Lessons - #6

Each week, I'll post a lesson (maybe two) and share my thoughts on how it resonates in my own life.  Perhaps you would like to join along.  Sharing in the comments, or posting on your own blog, and then sharing that link with us here.  I think this book would make an excellent choice for a book club, or the lessons used as retreat topics.  So let's just consider this a cyber book club of sorts.  Ok?  Great! 

Life Lesson #6 - You Don't Have To Win Every Argument. Agree To Disagree

Really?  I don't get to win every argument?  But I'm always right.  Right?  

I'm not always right, but I do like to win an argument.  I mean what is the point in arguing your point, if you don't come out on top.  If you don't win.  As I've gotten older I've become much better at learning to agree to disagree.  In fact I use this go to phrase to end arguments when they just keep going on past the stage of being productive.  Everyone thinks they are right.  This is just the way we are wired.  We want to be the one who speaks the truth.  The one that saves the day, or provides the answer to the million dollar question.  We want to be the one who knows how to get to where we are going.  The one with the best memory for facts and details.  And besides, it's hard to admit sometimes when we are wrong or don't know what we think we know.  

My son inherited my zest for a good argument, or debate, as I like to call them.  As he grew into a young adult, he and I could go at it for lengthy stretches of time in debating a topic and who was right about this particular subject. He can actually now out last me in debate stamina.  So, I use the "agree to disagree" line with him often so we can move on.  He is a bright young man and I raised him to stick up for his point of view, but boy can that kid argue.  I tell him he should be a lawyer.  

Learning to agree to disagree is a great skill in keeping one's sanity.  And for saving face when you know you are wrong, but not willing to lose the fight.  Great debate is stimulating.  It can be fun and informative.  But arguing is harmful for both parties, even if one feels they have won and the other has lost.  Some arguments are centered around not who is right and who is wrong, but what the parties want.  What they feel is due them.  When we can get to a point in our lives where we can take a step back and admit we are wrong in an argument, I think our lives become easier.  How? Because we don't spend so much time fighting.  Instead we except that we don't have all the answers all of the time. That we are mistaken sometimes, and that indeed we are not right, but wrong.  This doesn't take away from our brillance.  We find that we are just a person like everyone else who sometimes gets it right and who sometimes doesn't. No big deal in the grand scheme of things.

I'm sure you agree with me.  :)

Agree to disagree.