This I Believe

Charlie - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: golden rule

“Treat others as you want to be treated.” This “Golden Rule” can be found in the teachings of many of the great world leaders, including Jesus, Hillel, and Confucius. “The Golden Rule” is relevant to many areas of behavior, one of the more important areas being the respectful exchange of ideas. When you respect someone’s opinion in a debate, they will most likely respect yours back when they have the chance. When you do this, you will make a new friend but also other people will notice you. Because of this, they might also want to be friends with you.

When was the last time you got in a debate with someone you like? Well, when you were in that debate, did you ever make a direct insult to the other person because of their belief? If you did, why? Think about it. The point of a debate is to express your feelings and hear other people’s as well. The complete opposite is to put down the person who was proved wrong. So next time you’re in a debate think about what you can gain from respecting the other person or lose from not respecting them. For example, if he said, “George Bush is awesome,” and because of that you said, “Oh yeah? Well you suck because you like him.” That would be an example of not respecting someone’s opinion.

A lot of times, my family will get in a debate about a small thing like whether I am allowed to go on a specific website or not. Although we are all fierce about our opinions, we still respect each other by not hating each other for their opinions. If we didn’t, then it wouldn’t be a debate. Maybe some people think that having a debate with your family is wrong but if you follow the guidelines of respect, everything works out. Basically, there is a difference between a debate and a fight.

“The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.”

-Thomas Jefferson

This famous quote, written by one of the most esteemed philosophers is expressing that good opinion from mankind keeps the world moving in its harmonious way.

This is another reason for why opinions should be respected; because they, not unlike many other things, are a small puzzle piece that fits together with all the other things to create harmony. Without opinions, there would be a missing piece; not everything would work.