The Utility of a Debate

I don’t know how often I get engaged in what I now call, worthless debate, as nothing comes out of it in the end, and most of the time, it ends on a fruitless note.

They say you must debate and discuss to enhance your thinking capacity, but, most of the time, you end up fighting with the opposition. This is the usual case with the guys of our age-group.

Everyone thinks that they are the next Osho. A healthy debate appears utopian.

I am not saying that I am always right, but the way my opponents try to put forth their views irks me.

With all due respect to their “right to express themselves”, I would like to say, “Be good listeners, guys. I may not be right but at least I deserve to be heard.”

I love to listen to their viewpoints and appreciate whenever I feel that they have made a solid statement. But all hell breaks loose when I raise my point against them.

Ultimately, I feel it is better to leave that topic, lest I should offend my dear friends. That is how the debates end in most cases. If one of the debaters doesn’t bow, then get ready for a Mahabharata, an epic war in Indian religious context.

I have had enough of these debates and also have been involved in many of them. I have seen how these debates over some silly topics turn into violent fights.

Looking back, I could see myself doing these things when I used to make my stand firm as a rock, and tried not to shift from it even if my opponent had a valid point.

You can blame the ‘ego problem’ as the culprit. But I realized that in this fight of egos there was no winner.

It took me some time, but as I evolved, I realised that there was something to be learnt from everyone. The whole world is a teacher. Try to learn, be a keen observer.

Personally, I am a great believer in the ‘frame of reference’ thing. No, not that one in physics, but it is still pretty much analogous. What might be right in your frame of reference may be wrong for some other person. As simple as it gets.

You are no almighty to decide what is wrong or right, on behalf of others. Let them have their own fundas.

But having said that, I must say that you should evolve every moment and try to make your frame of reference better everyday. And for that, you have to be able to absorb things from others with no prejudice in mind.

I have seen people bearing grudges against other people without any valid reason saying,” I just don’t like the way he behaves or carries himself.” Judge people by their views and not by their demeanor. It is good to rate yourself in high esteem, but never underestimate others.

I remember one of my friends saying,” I have learnt many things from the so-called bad men and I believe they have great many things to offer in terms of experience they have had.” I agree.

So what actually a healthy debate constitutes in my ‘frame of reference’?

We should just present our opinion in a civilized manner, making sure that we are not imposing our views over anyone. Let the opponent listen to you, let him ponder- whether he agrees or not is his choice.

We should learn to take things against us in our stride. Not to lose temper is another important thing. We should not debate to be a winner in the end. It will be better if we look to find who has evolved more after the debate.

Sorry for being a little bit philosophical but let me enjoy that privilege at least in my ‘frame of reference’.

Let me finish this with the famous quote, “That’s the beauty of the argument, if you argue correctly, you are never wrong .”

Shivanshu Singh

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