I have upon more than one occasion, referred to someone as being self-righteous. Of course, this statement in its self is self-righteous. I believe we all have a self-righteous view. Some things are a continual truth that most of humanity tends to agree on. Such as gravity, the earth is round, and we all eventually die. However, other things, things like politics, religion, how to approach life, and even many morals are all up for interpretation. We might fall into tribes, groups of people thinking similar on many of these issues. But, we all think we have a superior view. Even those who wish to create total equality think they have a “superior” view. Which is why I think it is so important to have friendly conversations with people who possess views different than our own. And have a debate, not the way presidential candidates debate, that isn’t even a debate.
From my experience, in today’s environment, this friendly conversation and true debate are getting harder to come by. Many of the people I run into have the “us versus them” mentality. A mentality that creates exclusion, strong partisanship, hatred, fear, and a superior surety that their view is right. I am not saying that we need to roll over and that we all need to become moderates about politics and religion. But I do believe that conversation, debate, and compromise is how good things to come to pass.
What I believe to be the most difficult part about conveying this idea to someone else is how to begin the conversation with them. I have no problem saying that I have a self-righteous view about politics, and given certain information I might even change my stance. But how do we start conversations with someone who does not even wish to hear the other side? Start conversations with someone who things the other side is full of hatred, is evil, and is completely wrong?
How do we unite, when what appears to me, to be a society ever dividing and each side becoming more and more self-righteous? I think much of this problem must do with us receiving canned, short, brief opinions on issues that need to be studied out in detail. Of course, I can write about how the problem was created. But how do we fix the problem? Perhaps I only feel this way because I enjoy voicing my opinion, hearing others opinions, and then analyzing the differences. For me, my opinions change, they usually change because of circumstance or change because a hundred years ago, is not the same as today.