Ask dinner party guests the biggest cliche of topics to steer clear of, and of course they will answer religion, politics, or money. Ask teachers why they shy away from controversial topics in the class, and they’ll answer that conversations can get too heated, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. Some bloggers and writers even make it their personal mission to avoid these topics so they don’t offend any current or potential readers. I’ve been thinking about this, and I adamantly disagree with the notion that we should avoid controversy. Instead, I think we SHOULD discuss controversial topics because the more we talk about it, the more we learn how to have productive conversations instead of stubborn showdowns.
We need to learn the tools to participate in these conversations; we need to push ourselves to be educated on these topics instead of clinging onto unfounded, obstinate opinions; we need to learn to open our minds and hearts to hearing other points of views, practice thoughtful consideration, and tactful responses to disagreements.