Last week I was asked a question. It was a fair question about an issue that had come up in conversation. I was in a room full of people, but it was certainly possible that only one person really cared what my answer was.
The topic happened to be something that I am very passionate about, and one that I don’t tend to pull punches on when I talk about. It also happens to be a topic that I developed my strong thoughts on by questioning, debating, and researching an issue that was I knew I needed to establish a position on. Several years ago I embarked on a journey to discover. Over the course of that time I found that there seemed to be a clear right and wrong on the issue, and I strongly felt that I needed to stand for and defend the side that I believe is right.
So back to last week. When asked my opinion I opened strong, before I was given the opportunity to state why I held the position I did someone jumped to conclusions about me, and stopped the conversation by saying they only wanted to hear input from someone who was not biased. Based on most rhetoric on the issue it’s hard to blame someone for assuming that to be passionate about an issue is to be biased. Our political, spiritual, and ethical landscapes are clouded by people who take a position because their group, clan, or “god” has told them that is the position that is accepted. Rather than exploring what is right they defend what they are told is right. The end result is not movement towards what is right, but instead the defense of a position. Why be right when you can win?
It’s possible to be passionately biased. It’s possible to e passionately wrong. But it’s also possible to be passionate about something as the result of an unbiased journey as well. If you want to dialog, end the rhetoric that defends a position, and embrace the passionate search… and consider that the person you’re talking to may have done the same.