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My thoughts - opposing viewpoints, tolerance and respectfully disagreeing

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Dancer, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Dancer

    Dancer Silver IL'ite

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    Hi all,

    I have been following the recent furor on IL over a particular poster's threads and just couldn't help jumping in. Let me confess that the whole reason I started out was that I have a tendency to think similar to the views mentioned in the OP post (some of the points, not all) and so when I saw the anger it brought out in people, it made me think.

    Let me tell you that I am not a very accepting person. I tend to be judgmental. When so many people respond strongly to views that are similar to mine, then it works like a shock treatment and makes me stop and notice what is right/wrong. I do agree with many posters views that the original threads (mad(e) for each other / in-laws or out-laws) did have some generalizations, insensitive comments, extreme interpretations and the general tone of the posts were not-so-mature/noble. Anyway, people have said ample about their views on the threads.

    I want to share my anger/upset at the way many posters have chosen to reply. Older posts of the OP were brought up and dissected. Some response posts seemed harsh/rude to me. I know what your instant reaction must be – “Oh, you think we were harsh. What about the OP herself?”. But, when we try to point out that another person is being harsh and we do it in a harsh way, are we not missing the point somewhere?

    A lot of ladies got upset that the OP spoke about a lady wearing exposing clothes and that might be because her husband was working abroad. Yes, it seems to be an extreme interpretation. However, I would go out on a limb and say that it is not a totally impossible scenario too. Actually, my husband travels a lot on work. I know the kind of loneliness one can feel. However, I might deal with it in my own way – keeping busy with hobbies, praying to God, nagging/fighting with husband, going into depression and so on. Another kind of person in this situation might deal with it by being more pro-active, getting a job, making friends etc. A third person might get totally dejected with the scenario (depending on the basic character and life situation) and might even (sub-)consciously look for approval from other sources (may be a male admirer?).

    Having said all that, I still agree that it doesn’t seem noble to make such accusations. Ok, we accuse the OP of making extreme interpretations. Are we not doing the same when we making interpretations on OP that her students are pitiable or her DIL must be suffering? We made judgements based on what the OP said in her threads. The OP made judgements based on what the lady wore (though this seemed more extreme?). I am not supporting extreme interpretations made by OP. Just trying to show the other side of the coin too.

    Another point that got the goat of the ladies was the comment on the short, dark lady not being a match for the handsome guy. Agreed, these are again subjective. Yes, it is very noble to see a match between couples only in terms of heart and not in terms of something as superficial as looks.

    But I would also like to present another point of view. Let’s face it – most of us are not spiritual enough to be at that level. We are human beings with our own flaws and as it is, marriage throws a lot of challenges at us. In such a scenario, it does make sense to minimize the risk involved by marrying someone similar – of similar family background, religion, economic set up, value system, education etc. We have scenarios where one spouse’s extreme success can cause feelings of jealousy /inferiority in the other spouse. With that in mind, is it a sin to look for compatibility in looks between spouses?

    I do understand that most of you felt angry because when the husband himself doesn’t seem to mind his wife’s look, what is our problem and also the fact that people supposedly left without eating. Yes, that does seem extreme.

    I get it that a lot of the posters have responded strongly as they have been affected by similar sentiments in the past – because of comments on their looks/dressing/MIL-DIL relationship and so on. All of us carry emotional baggage and depending on that, we might respond strongly to some statements. The kind of person that we are today has been shaped by a lot of factors – our past experiences, our childhood, the society we grew up in etc. Apart from psychological reasons, there are also spiritual reasons (for those who believe in it), past lives, karma etc. If all this is true for us, is it not true for the OP too? Her life experiences, social conditions etc. have made her what she is today.

    Please understand that I am not supporting the OP and saying that what she said is right. All I am saying is that we can be more kind in our replies. I need to appreciate the very few posters who showed their disagreement in a respectful way.

    Anyway, all these thoughts about what is acceptable or unacceptable thinking is itself highly subjective and depends on many factors.

    Many of you might be ok with concepts not easily accepted by our grandparents – inter-caste/inter-religion marriages, pre-marital sex, live-in relationships etc. You might think of yourself as forward-thinking and progressive. But down the line, when we become grandparents, things that are accepted by the future society might shock you – maybe people think it is absolutely fine to use drugs, go naked in public, open marriages being the norm etc.

    Continues below...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
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  2. Dancer

    Dancer Silver IL'ite

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    Continues...

    I feel that usually conservative people are being accused of being all pious, self-righteous and so on. I confess there is some truth to that. But don’t the liberal minded people feel self-righteous in their own way – feel they are not blindly “following” society, that they use their brain to think and make a balanced viewpoint and support the abolition of what many consider to be social evils of the past?


    Based on my short time at IL, I can easily tell what kind of posts will get sympathy and support from readers and what would get brickbats. Since the majority of posters belong to a particular range of age/generation/thinking style/life stage, I guess they find it easy to support each other.

    Somehow, I felt like the IL community was “ganging up” on this lady in showing their displeasure. I have seen a few threads where the OP (any OP) will be bashed in the responses and then people will wonder where the OP went. What do you expect? That the OP will come running back, fall at your feet for opening their eyes and turn into a “good” person? This is not the climax-scene of a movie. I don’t think it is easy for people to change lifelong negative habits instantly. People can change only gradually. If you really want to help them (when the OP actually has a negative viewpoint), then try to tell in a compassionate way. Just hitting on the head with a hammer is not suddenly going to give them “gyaan” on how to become a better person. It might just make you feel good about scolding the person with the “wrong” viewpoint. I am telling all this based on my experience of being a judgemental person. Anyway, in this case, the OP did come back to clarify.

    Also, not much respect seemed to be given to the OP’s age. I would like to give the benefit of doubt to some posters – may be they didn’t realize the OP’s age. I also agree that it is irritating to give respect to someone only because they are older when their actions are not mature, respect must be earned etc etc. Nevertheless, two wrongs do not make a right. We cannot justify our disrespect by pointing out the other person’s shortcomings (I actually do this mistake myself, only difference is I do it in my mind or with my close people instead of in a public forum).

    I am not saying we need to agree with all OPs or never respond. That would completely miss the point of having a discussion in a forum where we get to look at different viewpoints and get a better understanding of the situation. If you really find someone’s opinions unacceptable, then you have the option to ignore and move on. If you feel someone is being unfair/ignorant and you have the urge to share your views, that is absolutely fine – but please try to share in a constructive way.

    I too have many aspects in me that need to be worked on - personality defects, spiritual flaws etc. This post is not just for others to learn from. It is also a reminder to me to be more understanding of others opinions. I find it very hard to accept opposite opinion too.

    Even now I wonder if I would have jumped in with a response like this if someone with liberal views had been harshly responded to by many people. May be that is my bias. Also, I have considered myself a "moralistic, judgmental" person in general and have taken too many comments against such kind of people to heart (even when it was never intended against me personally), so may be I am over-reacting? I am not sure. But I hope atleast a few points what I mentioned make sense to others. If you genuinely want to respond to my post, I am willing to have a constructive conversation.

    Moderators, please let me know if I am not supposed to start a thread based on someone else’s thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
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  3. hobbes83

    hobbes83 Bronze IL'ite

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    Very valid points and looks like this thread is really needed at IL right now. I steer away from commenting on certain threads though I really wonder about the OP's views/ mindset and feel the whole post or topic is beyond being commented on. When you comment on a post, there's a thin line between respectfully disagreeing and being outright hurtful. We then wonder why the OP disappeared. But I was impressed by the "thread author who caused a furor with one of her topics" and the way she has handled the comments/ ganging up that haven't stopped yet.
     
  4. Dancer

    Dancer Silver IL'ite

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    hobbes83, that's what I am also trying to say. We don't have to agree, we might even find the posts very offensive. But if we comment, then we can try to do it respectfully.

    Yes, it must be hard to deal with so much criticism and the OP seems to have handled it well.
     
  5. shambavi2000

    shambavi2000 Silver IL'ite

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    hi
    very mature and balanced analysis indeed. Take a bow!Yeah, we all can disagree without being disagreeable, can't we?
     
  6. mathangikkumar

    mathangikkumar Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear dancer,
    you really danced well with words in a refined way , bringing out the nuances of the topic and the ruckus it created, and as an OP, I only took it this way may be the readers are yet to mature in their responses.Time and again I keep saying life is like this, it's in the hands of individual to make it or break it with one's attitude.

    Any how I stand up and salute you for your matured analytic views weighing the pros and cons of all the replies in a matured refined way to make senses to those who reacted including me. Thanks once again for opening the eyes.. of...........
    One can get back to my posts and I may be conservative, orthodox etc, but when certain thing happens around you, you cannot close your eyes and just keep mum. Whatever I have written about the partners, marriage, the complexion still exist and will exist.Some may shout from top of the mountain, at the top of the voice, truth is truth and we cannot bring change all of a sudden, only the inter-caste, inter- faith , inter-state marriages can bring the sea change one day. I hope so.
     
  7. beautifullife30

    beautifullife30 Platinum IL'ite

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    that sea of change that you are hoping for can come only when the change starts happening from the point one...that is YOU. If you just accept that world is like this, then we will get flown away by the daily things. We might not be able to change the society at once but showing the society where we stand and not budging for them does make a strong point.

    The thing about complexion, marriage, partneers might exist in future too but i stand staunchly to show my kids that it doesnt matter and shouldnt matter. Even if it matters to the entire world, they should not bother about it. I want my kids to adapt that attitude.

    As you said 'truth will always remain truth'. It doesnt and wouldnt change with time. So if the current truth about the so called mismatches change then they mean that they are not truth. They are appear to be truth for now.
     
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  8. Dancer

    Dancer Silver IL'ite

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    Shambavi2000, disagree without being disagreeable. Nice way to put it.

    Mathangi ma'am, even I felt that some comments in the posts seemed a little insensitive. But may be there is a miscommunication and you were not able to communicate what you wanted exactly (because of language problem?)
    I think the crux of the confusion is: You do say that this is what is seen in life around you and you hope it will change one day, but at the same time your posts seem to support the current situation. Feel free to clarify this if you want to.

    beautifullife30, good to see you share your opinion without getting into personal attack.
     
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  9. ridgemma

    ridgemma Gold IL'ite

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    Dear,
    Very thoughtful...while I appreciate the way you had put across, I can't stop saying a word about OPs

    In this confluence, is it not natural to expect brickbats/bouquets when an opinion,issue,case...whatever is put forward.People of all walks,with different attitudes,conversant /not so conversant with language reply to a post..OPs, expect both to come in your way and no point in ranting "this is not what I intended", when few disagree...

    I more feel, the OP to be not so sensitive & to take criticisms, advice in the hard way(if disagreeable)& play mature while handling such... Words only translate 50% of real case...
     
  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Dancer,

    I appreciate your taking up the task of preventing personal attacks on writers in this forum. I agree that everyone should be respectful to the views of the others. A decorum has to be maintained in a forum like this where the mutual respect for each others view is important. All disagreements to the views should be brought up with all due respect to the writer. That goes without saying. I can't speak for others but I can speak for myself. I have read many of Maathangi's post before and I thoroughly enjoyed her posts before. On the post "Inlaws or Outlaws?" I had some issues with her assumptions and I have posted different scenarios with due respect to her. I have specifically mentioned also that my post is not intended to hurt the writer or any other respondent. There is nothing wrong in saying a few lessons to the younger generation but should avoid comments that would be considered derogatory to the younger generation. In another post, Maathangi expressed a view that physical match between couple is very important quoting some people leaving the marriage without having dinner. Suppose, if I have a daughter who is not so nice looking, will I not educate, make her very successful and find her a good husband? Or will I give up on her and let her remain single as she might not be a match for anyone? It is always better to avoid such insensitive comments from our posts. This is my humble opinion and again I am not writing this response to hurt anyone.

    I have a lot of respect for Maathangi and all the writers in this forum.

    Viswa
     
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