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When I first heard of the word or phrase “I have a beef with you” I thought that the person was referring to an actual piece of meat – little did I know that it meant – either an argument, a problem, or a situation, that was setting the stage for a fight. I was listening to the person speaking of this “beef” and could not make sense of it. It wasn’t until later, when the conversation had progressed, that “the beef” became much clear.
This made me think that first, I had to brush (a lot) in today’s slangs and second, that we are living in a different world, where language, culture and technology intermix with disregard of time or motive. It used to be that generations had a bit of time to learn to understand the new slang, and the new slang had a purpose or a motive. A new slang word appeared and it was used and abused, and you were forced to learn it, want it or not. Today, slang seems to appear out of the sudden and take you by surprise; there is no prelude to it, no big announcements of the generation using it, and no warning that it is here. It is as if language has taken a dangerous personality, and one that may appear in the most unexpected places. An example of this is when today, while watching the morning news, the newscast member reading the headlines used the word Beef. However, this time, I knew what it meant.
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There was a time when I used to get blue in the face defending an argument; I don’t anymore. Why? Because first, I am not a lawyer nor do I enter any debating contests; therefore, it doesn’t make a difference to me. Personal arguments do not take my energy anymore and this is why.
- People’s beliefs vary – In the old days, I was trying to convince people of accepting or adopting my belief. The agenda was set wrong since the beginning. Instead of inviting people to ponder or take a look at my point of view, I wanted to convert them to it. Wrong!
- I have learned to agree to disagree – Instead of preaching my point of view until air from my lungs is exhausted, and they collapse, I have learned that it is alright to disagree, and it is healthy as well.
- It doesn’t change me – Learning to disagree and accepting disagreements does not mean that I have lost or have become weak. On the other hand, understanding where the other person is coming from, makes me stronger and open-minded. Agreeing to disagree does not change my core of beliefs, so there is no need for defensiveness.
- It is healthy to ponder others points of view – When you learn to appreciate the differences in others people’s arguments, you are allowing your mind to expand and look at other possibilities beyond your own. You are freeing yourself out of your own box, and can benefit from this mental exercise.
- You are totally free – You are allowing yourself to consider other points of view, and there is no need to waste energy defending yours. This may result on strengthening your own beliefs, or in allowing the freedom of changing them, if you discover new information that contradict your beliefs.
I have learned that there are more colors to an argument besides blue, and welcome all kinds of points of view. Now, instead of preaching my point or trying to convince the other person that my way is the right one, I choose to expose my feelings in a non treatening way, providing information, and letting that person know why there are features and benefits (for me) to my point of view. Now, instead of arguing, I sell.