Quote of the Day: 11/8/11

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Friendship should always be valued. Differing opinions may cause heated debates or even arguments, but they do not and should not fracture the foundations on which your friendships are built. A friend is someone who will accept you for who you are, regardless of opinion. Use only that filter when choosing your friends.

 

Quote of the Week: 8/1/11

“What is understood doesn’t need to be discussed.”

-Anonymous

I decided to be slightly mysterious with this week’s quote, mainly because my friend posted this on Facebook and it immediately intrigued me. I’ve been contemplating how to analyze this quote for close to a week, and still am struggling to come up with a concrete message to bring out of it; but I will do my best to give you my opinion, and at the very least, it will give my readers something to puzzle over for a while.

So, let’s break it down. ‘What is understood,’ could be many things. For example, it could mean an understanding between two people, such as a couple: it may be understood that one party doesn’t like when the other is indecisive, so they make most of the decisions involving the couple. That is just one example. It could be an understanding between two teammates on a basketball team; they always look for one with the other has the ball. What is understood could also be related to a belief or concept. Let’s just use gravity as an example; most people understand that gravity exists and how it works. There are obviously many other ideas that can be ‘understood,’ but I’m trying to set a framework for the quote.

I think it’s crucial in this quote to analyze ‘need’ separately. If you don’t need something, or don’t need to do something, this implies that it is not crucial to your survival/happiness, etc to do that action. However, just because you don’t ‘need’ something, doesn’t mean it isn’t ideal, recommended, or at the very least possible.

When something is discussed, this usually means either analyzed to understand more thoroughly or if it is a topic that has multiple points of view (as opposed to a fact), then this means arguing different points of view on the subject. That is as deep of an analysis I can do on this portion of the quote.

Now let’s bring it all together. My opinion on this quote is that the author was probably focusing on topics which involve people arguing mute points against each other. We’ve all been a part of an argument that made absolutely no sense why it started, that didn’t go anywhere, and nothing was solved except for maybe one person giving up on their point of view because their counterpart was too stubborn. So, what I am gleaning from this quote is that we should avoid pointless arguments. If you understand a concept, and you have a point of view, it may be interesting to argue that point of view, but I challenge you to think critically and see if there is any solution in sight if you get into a discussion on this topic.

This week, I want you to keep this quote in mind (with or without my analysis), and don’t argue over trivial topics. If you need productive conflict, then by all means; take part. If not, then don’t bother and save yourself some headache. Both parties will probably get over it much sooner, and you can move on with your life. A quick note, though: I don’t want you to think that you shouldn’t speak your mind- just don’t do it if you KNOW for sure it won’t get you anywhere. A good way to find out if you will get positive results is to ask the person you are talking with: “Can I give you my opinion?” This allows you to see if they are open to actually listening to you and not arguing. I bet that your week will be a little less stressful just by practicing this; so make it a good one!