When did it become offensive to talk about politics or religion in conversation? How are we supposed to learn or enter into healthy educational debates if we are not allowed to question anything? I believe that we need to keep asking questions if we really want to seek for the truth.
One of the reasons we get defensive when our ideals are questioned is that the gaps in our reasoning might be exposed. We may have jumped to a conclusion before we had all the facts. If we remain open to new information as it comes along, we can reevaluate and adjust our belief accordingly. Thus, if someone questions why we think the way we do, we will have a clear, well thought out answer.
Questioning and testing beliefs is not something to be afraid of…in fact, it is imperative to finding the truth. We will never be able to decide what we believe if we are too afraid to ask the hard questions. We need to have the freedom to have differing opinions and still participate in a civilized discussion. It seems that this skill is becoming less prevalent as people slip into the silence of their fears…a person’s silence does not mean they don’t struggle…it likely just means they are too afraid to reveal the issues that are troubling them.
Have you ever walked away from a conversation knowing something wasn’t quite right? I have. The answer might not reveal itself for a while, but eventually it becomes clear and things finally make sense. We need to use that conscientious nudging to look deeper…what we discover may very well change our understanding of ourself and others. Too often we just ignore this unsettled feeling as nonsense and miss out on a vital opportunity to discover the truth.
Seeking includes mostly listening…and understanding. Listening to someone speak who has a very different view from our own may feel very uncomfortable but we need to take the time to really understand what they are saying before we can accept or reject their opinion. Until we have taken the time to do that, we will simply be basing our conclusion on an assumption. In a world of instant answers we sometimes feel like this takes too much effort, but the end result will in fact release us from much of the anxiety of the unknown. We will become more sure of what we really believe and less swayed by random thoughts that confuse us.
There is no confusion in truth. So, if we are floundering in a sea of differing ideas, we know that we must keep seeking further. Truth draws a clear line that forces confusion to flee. We might not like the truth…we may even fight against it, but it is the only strong foundation upon which we can firmly stand without fear. When we ardently seek and accept the truth, it will indeed set us free.