We’ve all heard the phrase, “great minds think alike.”  But the  adverse is really true.

Haven’t you noticed the more we agree with someone the smarter they must be?  It’s something we think of and say without thinking.  We might describe a friend or colleague as being “really smart.”  The fact we agree on so much is probably just a coincidence.

We’re bombarded with friends, books, television shows and other sources of information that re-enforce our own points of views.  This does little to advance our own knowledge and thought process.

If we consider our friendships and acquaintances, many, if not all, of them share our points of view or they deviate only subtly from our own.  It is what binds us as friends and gives us a commonality.  It doesn’t have to apply to everything.  We can love rap music but disagree on politics or what sports teams to root for.  It’s ok to disagree.  It’s healthy to disagree.

Many people who are highly intelligent are often some of the more eccentric and unconventional thinkers.  I couldn’t disagree more with some of the smartest people I know.

My friends and acquaintances have such wide diverse opinions from me.  “Truthers”, anti-vaccinators and conspiracy theorists are all friends of mine.  Some arguments have more merit than others.  But, I disagree with most of their assertions.  But, the experiences we’ve shared and the bonds we have outweigh any disagreements we might have.

Other people’s experiences can shed light on issues and ideas we never considered.  The other person, who we may have very little in common, may have some tidbit of information we never considered. But, some of these beliefs, let’s say the “truther” movement, evoke such passionate points of views.  Sometimes, we need to put our emotions aside and think intellectually rather than emotionally.  We’ll still probably come to the same conclusion anyways.

Facts may be stubborn things but so is pride.  It is difficult to admit you’re wrong or may be wrong.  The only way we can decide we are wrong is by listening to other points of view.

I feel badly for the political talk show radio listeners and television show watchers.  Whether it be Hannity or Maddow, you’re unlikely to hear anything other than people preaching to their true believers.  I can’t imagine someone so invested in a mindset that they have lived their life based on it to say “wow, I am wrong!”  The truth is more closer to the middle.  They are right about some things and wrong about other things.

We often don’t discuss our different points of view, certainly not after already debating them in the past.  We “agree to disagree.”  This can be a big mistake.  How can you really make an informed decision without discussing it?

Somewhere along the way we confused disagreeing with someone with considering the other person as being stupid.  This line of thinking coupled with  confirmation bias, are the death knell to learning new ideas and personal development.

We should respect and appreciate how people think (or that they even think).  We’re all not going to agree on all things all the time.  I would much more respect someone for disagreeing with me than to say they agree with me just to placate me.

I’m sure you must agree.

One thought on “Great Minds Think Differently

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