Jeremy Côté



This happens to everyone:

You are passionately debating a topic with another person who has views that you just cannot agree with for the life of you. The perspective is so out there that you don’t even want to think about it. Therefore, as they try to argue their point, you barely register what they say. Instead, you’re already attempting to argue your side of the debate.

I think we’ve all been there before.

The problem with this situation is that we automatically shut people out before even analyzing their arguments. Instead of listening, really listening, to what they are saying, we close ourselves off to it because the view is too alien to our own. It’s as if, by simply engaging with an opposite view, we are going to taint our own. Instead of being open-minded, we stay closed. In essence, we are almost scared of what these “others” have to say.

But the reality is that we should not have emotional attachment to a specific view. At least, not enough attachment that we feel like every opposing view has to be staunchly avoided since it could taint it. What should be done is that our views should always be open to testing and criticism. If they are good enough to survive, then so be it. But if some other view comes along that illuminates cracks in our older perspective, then we should take it upon ourselves to be open to change. After all, these views shouldn’t be the most important thing to you. The most important thing should be the goal your view helps enable, or the reality of a phenomena. The view itself is just a means to getting to the end, and so it should always be flexible to criticism and upgrades. If not, the emotional attachment to a view will put us behind those that embrace the change.

Remember, the most “correct” views stand the test against time because they still hold up to criticism. However, it could also be because an industry is entrenched in one way of thinking.

But as someone looking to improve themselves, you should always look to refine, amend, change, or even completely scrap your views. In the end, it’s the result that matters.