Lets agree to disagree

by Stuart Simons

Adulting is hard. It’s one of those things that we never really consider as children. We just assume that things will fall in to place and that we will never really have to make actual decisions. However, the further we get in life and look back, we realise that the choices we made on our journey have directly led us to where we are now. When I reflect on my nearly 50 years on the planet, I realise that there are very specific days that I picked a path that took me in a completely unexpected direction. These days I call my ‘GOLD’ days. The truth though, is that we never realise the gravity of the decision we made on that gold day until we look back. 

The thing is that we all individually follow our very own path in life meaning that no two people have the same experiences. Yes we have an inner circle of friends and family that follow similar paths but no one has the exact same path. When you consider the amount of people in the world and the amount of humans that have lived until now, that’s quite a lot of different paths and experiences. No wonder there are wars.

So, having considered the paths that we picked and with the knowledge that they are all completely individual it’s not surprising that we all have differing opinions on things. Even the closest of friends and family can disagree. Take Brexit for example. (I won’t go in to that).

Before I started pottering with meditation I never really thought about other peoples journeys and the things that they have been exposed to throughout their lives. When I think about Shamima Begum, the girl who left the UK to join the Taliban at 15, I wonder what her path looked like and the choices she picked in her early years before making that decision. When I think back, the choices I had to make at that age were whether it’s too extreme to admit to loving BROS and 5Star. The day that she decided to leave the UK with her friends and journey to Afghanistan, was the GOLD day. It was the day that paved the way to her complete exile from the UK and the day that secured the deaths of her travelling friends who were also children. A huge difference in choices from me in sunny Sussex with safe outside influences.

So GOLD days can result in negativity too. They are a gamble but they are unavoidable. The way that we decide to act on them really depends on the exposure to things we have had whilst growing up. 

I am an opinionated person. I have very strong views and stick to my guns for the most part but more recently I have started to consider arguments that are presented to me with more scrutiny. The paths that others have travelled will reflect on their opinions and those paths may well be different to mine. 

It’s taken me 50 years to work out that my opinion is really only relevant to me. It’s important because it is part of what makes me my authentic self. One could argue that it’s this that attracts the friends a person has and whether that person has integrity and is trusted within a group. It also creates enemies through no fault of anyone except their historical path.

Arguing is not fun. Debating is! Deciding whether a difference of opinion is enough to sever a relationship for is really dependant on the argument and the strength of the view. But, it’s definitely worth considering the path that the person with the alternative view has taken to get to this point.