Sunday, October 19, 2008
Maybe it's just me, or perhaps it's guys in general, I mean males in particular: one of the fastest ways to become friend with another feller is to argue, to fight them.
I've seen this since Junior High School: some dude gets smart with you, you arrange a time for a mutual clobbering, you punch each other repeatedly, generally nobody really wins or loses, and the next day, you're chumming around together.
It's like you now respect each other for having the guts to do battle. I've heard that military officers of opposing forces in war have respect for their enemy counterparts. At least that's what's portrayed in movies. Wasn't it taboo for soldiers and warriors to attack kings and high ranking commanders, back in the ancient world?
Recently, I've been involved in a marketing gimmick that involves one musical band "getting revenge" on another band. The loyal fans of the other band rise in defense. To perpetuate the fake "feud", I sometimes engage in a little online debate with these fans of the other band. Almost without exception, those fans and I end up friends.
We argue, debate, flame each other, even heating up into really ferocious accusations and fierce defenses...only to wind up shaking hands and telling each other to "take care, brother".
This is the ideal.
The best way to "destroy" your "enemies" is to transform them into allies, or at least you become people who mutually respect each other (redundancy intended for emphasis).
You may still disagree totally. You may become even more convinced that you are right and they are wrong. But...you were able to talk about it and have a glimpse at the other side of the story, or the spin that's put on it, even if the other side is basically insubstantial, in your opinion.
Just entering into discussion, telling a few jokes, being adamant, yet comical, has some profound effect on both "combatants".
Politicians call it "diplomacy".
Pacifists push for "more diplomatic action" as an alternative to rushing into warmongering exploits.
There is much truth to the stated claims of the efficacy of diplomacy.
Diplomacy, debate, discussions may not solve all the problems of this world. It may not prevent every war. But it's worth trying, eh?