If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 (NIV)
The current health care debate got me all riled up today. But, it was on facebook, of all places. I responded to a thread of a friend that lives across the country. No one represented my particular point of view so I jumped into the fray with both feet. When I finally crawled into bed last night, after several back and forth posts, I was still going over in my mind all the various responses that I needed to make. I was hot. I woke up to more postings and, almost before I realized it, I reverted to combat mode. I learned firsthand how these town hall meetings could get out of hand. Finally, I realized that no one was going to change anyone else’s mind so I wished them well, closed out facebaok, and moved on to the rest of my day. It reminds me of the old saying, “my mind is made up – don’t confuse me with the facts.” Yet, the goal is to live at peace with everyone. How hard is that? I think my way is right, as do they. How do we disagree without being disagreeable? One thought is to lower the decibel level. Many responses in the thread were all in capital letters (in computer-speak, that is yelling) by the other side with personal attacks as part of the debate. A few suggestions for a peaceful discussion: Speak in a normal voice. Be polite. Keep your emotions under control. Know the facts. Be aware of your surroundings and who else may be listening. Keep it impersonal. Know when to back off. Remember, the relationship is more important than the issue.