(for context and the story of my realisation below, please read this story on the TEDxRamallah open blog)
all arguments start before anyone begins talking.
let’s suppose I’m explaining to you the root of all arguments. you would expect and assume that what I’m saying is true. almost everyone would.
what happens next is simple: all of us believe that there could only be one truth about any one topic. so you take this truth that you’re reading now and you compare it to the truth you have about this topic. if it matches, you nod, and if it doesn’t you say: “but no…” and the endless, pointless argument starts. communication stops. from this point on, everything i say stops being a truth, and becomes a lie. your eyes might still be reading this, but your mind is completely in denial. why? because there could only be one truth.
now if what I’m claiming to be the root of all arguments matches with your truth of the topic, then you’re still listening and waiting for the cure.
and the cure is simple, instead of assuming that what I’m telling you is true, assume that what I’m telling you is what I feel and think about this topic; my experience. and since we all believe that 2 people can feel and think 2 different things about the same topic, then there’s no clash. even if you do compare it with your bank of knowledge, and it turns out to be different, it doesn’t clash, and instead of saying: “but no…” you’d say: “for me it’s different…” or “I understand, and I see it differently…” or “u have a point there, I never saw it that way…”. and instead of an argument, you’d get a constructive conversation, and even sometimes a constructive debate. and at all times, your mind would still be listening.
people never share truths. they share what they believe to be true. they share their feelings, their thoughts, their experiences. and assuming these to be “the truth” will lead to an argument. take them as they are: feelings, thoughts, experiences.
that’s why very few people can actually communicate with each other. and that’s why all arguments start before anyone begins talking. now you know how to prevent it.
p.s. more advanced and soon: why there isn’t one truth about any topic -and- how the scientific method destroyed our ability to communicate