Disagreeing agreeably

It was the challenge of our times she thought. How to disagree with someone else's opinions and views whilst remaining agreeable. The world felt so charged, so full of views and perspectives that it felt intimidating sometimes to share one's thoughts. The pushback was real and the consequences significant, wherever one stood, whatever view one had. It was interesting to her that she had been writing for some time about a range of stuff that occurred to her first thing in the morning and had only just met some resistance. The difference was in the definitions.

Today was International women's Day. In writing about women and men becoming women, the woman was aware that she had raised her head above a parapet. She'd made a declaration of sorts and the response from friends had been surprising. She'd had a number of messages that had agreed with her view that things were complex. Some had thanked her for saying things that they didn't feel able to say for fear of repercussions in the work place. Others had simply found it interesting.

The response that had surprised and to be truthful, upset her a little, had come from a friend whose opinion she had always valued highly. The friend held an entirely opposite view and had declared that she didn't want to read such stuff anymore. She was happy to meet face to face to talk about why she thought and felt as she did but she didn't want to read about it because it wasn't good for her energetically. All of this was entirely reasonable and yet the woman still felt disturbed. Had she got something 'wrong'?

The wrongness and rightness that people felt was, in her view, part of the problem. We are so wedded to our beliefs that we seem to struggle with being wrong. In a world that had been turned upside down and inside out, it was bound to be the case that views would be different. The trouble was the intensity behind the views. The stakes were high in a world of inequality amongst the identities.

She got to thinking about identities and whether they really were helpful after all. She could think of a number of ways to identify herself and all of them felt real and valid. To that end, was it not the same for everyone, in which case, what was wrong with people deciding for themselves who and what they were? Hmmmm. This is where its all become so tricky I suppose she thought.

Perhaps the problem really came down to trust. If we could trust our institutions, our societal frameworks, perhaps we would feel more open to those we see as 'different'? It certainly felt that it was the trust that was missing in a world that was sickening for love and understanding.

The woman could see how so many young people were questioning themselves. She had done it herself as a teenager searching for answers. She wondered if her life would have been different if she were born now. She had always wanted to be a boy when she was young and perhaps that was still the same for girls. She just didn't know and it was this that troubled her but also reassured her. The not knowing was more important than the knowing. Did that make her right or wrong?

It felt important not to be wedded to the idea of one's own rightness. There was enough evidence to say that she was wrong about some things and enough to make her feel she was right. Presumably this was how most people felt about most things. We tend to think we're right and others are wrong she supposed. This didn't feel good enough though. Surely, if we really are going to build a harmonious world, we have to begin with ourselves. We have to interrogate ourselves before we question others surely. The context for conflict is everything. She hated conflict.

She thought abut what she had written and how she had written it. She could see that there was perhaps a flippant tone that didn't acknowledge the complexity of the journey for some and this was something to be considered.

It felt good to reflect and she hoped her friend would feel that she was being listened to. She didn't want conversations about controversial subjects to be shut down and so she had a little word with her sensitive self that struggled with any perceived criticism. 'You're a grown up, your views are valid and your friend still loves you. “ It felt a bit odd to give herself such a talk but it was also important.

She was a woman celebrating womanhood on international women's day. Sending love out into the cosmos to the women of the world, she could feel herself expanding. Friends you could trust truly were worth their weight in gold. She was grateful for all of them.