Scattered Thoughts on conversations and conduct

There is something that I am highly aware of, even though I might have momentary slips, is to stay away from the extremes of ideas and conversations. There are only handful of things where I have absolute viewpoint, an absolute clarity: things like my love for my wife, not up for debate. things like safeguarding children against possible predators, there has to be as less grey areas as possible in that regard. And other things like my love and dedication to my nation, Britain, yes there I do have absolute emotions. But most of these things are predicated by own personal principles and values.

But I am very mindful, that when you enter into most conversations regarding social issues, you have to keep an open mind. You cannot be an absolutist. Although I understand it is hard not to be in certain cases. Just like I have absolutism over certain things some of which I listed above, some people would have God and their specific religion in that list of absolutist adherence to. And that is where the idea of keeping away from extremes becomes murky.

In these circumstances, and in all others, I go by the simple process of understanding that other people have different views, different ways to reaching their views, different reasonings, different lived experiences. What I have to make sure when I enter into a conversation, is not to impose that my way is the righteous way, that my way is the only way, not to claim superiority of my views over others because I do not see that to be in the spirit of an open and honest conversation. But that doesn’t mean to not argue your point passionately. It is just to do with temperance, with keeping in mind that you are arguing ideas mainly and not making it too personal. You have to leave room to think and acknowledge that you could be wrong.

What am I trying to say? I am not entirely sure. Just some cluttered thoughts at the moment, I guess trying to organise themselves as I write them down. Maybe the core of what I am trying to say is – stay away from extremes, stay away from hatred, stay away from conversations that pits you generally against one another. There are times when you have to take a stand for something, where you have to pick a side and fight for what you think to be right. These are obvious objectively proven scenarios. But sometimes, which has been happening a lot these days, we tend to stand up for or against abstract ideas which haven’t formulated themselves properly, because we have been unable to have civilized and rational conversations about them. That is why going into abstract ideas with absolutist mindset is not really helpful.

Now since I am already in the process of boring you with my thoughts. I think there is another issue that I have seen these days, the sort of guilt by association. And that is not just limited to association with people but to association with thoughts as well. What do I mean? Well, lets suppose that I am against mandatory medical procedures and I express that view in relation to recent events as well, when it came to Covid jabs. There would other people who would agree with me as well, but perhaps would have come to that conclusion from different angles. So we could converge on being against mandatory medical procedures but not on other things. Like there could be extremist elements within that conversation as well, people who believe there is an evil plan, people who don’t want to because of religious reasons, people who are anti-vaccinations overall and invariably they would hold other views as well as these regarding other social issues. I may agree with some of their points but not all. So, we might in agreement in being against mandatory medical procedures but nothing much else, still we will lumped together in one group and labelled by the extremist elements without our midst – and that caricature makes it easier for our opposing viewpoints to dismiss our/my concern over one issue.

I don’t know if I explained it properly or not, but that to me is a huge problem. It is an inability to talk about issues on separate basis. It is a way of shutting down unwanted conversations. And when conversations are wilfully shut down, they become more and more extreme in their rhetoric. Maybe what I am trying to say is that we need better mechanisms to deal with disingenuous caricatures and conversations, and we need to stop mass labelling people, we need to stop undermining the values of a free civil society and we need to stay away from the extremes as much as possible and where applicable.

I don’t care if a conversation causes or doesn’t causes offense to certain people, because watering down conversations is a dullard’s activity and I am really not interested in it. I just want to make sure that conversations are had without disingenuous elements attached to them, and that the conversations are had openly without fear of being throttled for having them.

These were my scattered thoughts, I am not sure if I have made any sense. I have a thing that I usually say and I try to stick to it as much as I can, and maybe it can summarise my entire rambling in this most:

‘I do not want to come to conclusions to conversations that I have never had.’

and maybe to it I can add the point, that I do not want anyone to limit my access to conversations, I do not want to be disingenuous when I enter such conversations, and I do not form rigid conclusions even after I have had those conversations.

Hope you all have a great week.