Stay Humble

'I'm smart; you're dumb. I'm big; you're little. I'm right; you're wrong. And there's nothing you can do about it' is not just a classic line from my favorite childhood movie Matilda, it's a tiresome attitude that's pervasive in this new era of digital and internet arguments. Whether it be a merciless debate if a 17 year old gorilla makes for a better parent than most humans, or if Donald Trump is more irritating than jock itch, today's society suffers from always thinking they're right without seeing others' points of view. I've never witnessed an argument sprinkled with insults and abuse that ended with the other person admitting, "Valid point, maybe I do suck and you are right!" Antagonistic discourse only serves to further highlight differences in opinion instead of rationally discussing the issue at hand in a chance to come together for a mutual consensus. Being able to take a step back and truly see things from different perspectives is an indispensable skill that every human and gorilla should possess.

Nobody on this beautiful, green earth is perfect or right about everything besides me. Far too often we enter dialogues dead set on this notion that we are undoubtedly correct whereas our adversaries are on the wrong side of the fence. Think about it. Whether it be political, social, or religious issues, how many convictions do you currently hold that you're certain are the moral, correct beliefs? Now, what if I told you that there are a countless number of people who hold directly opposing and contradicting stances who are just as confident in their righteousness? Who wins? Is it the person who types in all caps lock with the most creative insults? That's why it's so imperative to be educated on the pertinent issues because facts eclipse emotional and disparaging rhetoric any day of the week.

Disagreements are bound to happen in a world filled with unique personalities. But there is a right and a wrong way to disagree. Regardless if it's with a friend or a random stranger hiding behind the keyboard of their computer, I promise you'll look less stupid if you don't sound angry or seem emotionally affected by the situation. Just present the facts that have led you to that opinion. Better yet, despite how much you may want the other person dead, truly attempt to get to the root of why that person believes in what they do. You don't have to abruptly change positions in their favor, but it could open up a whole new way of thinking and significantly broaden your horizons.

In this day and age, being able to respectfully convey ideas and judgements that resonate with others could be a major determinant of how much success you attain in this world. For example, if my one year of medical training and infinite wisdom were to challenge a tenured professor or attending physician in the hospital like a jackass, I would probably get slashed across the face with a scalpel. Contrastingly, if I politely disagreed with evidence supporting my claim, the chances of having my voice heard increases exponentially. Even if I was wrong, the situation would still serve as a learning experience to increase my knowledge base and better treat patients in the future. Being humble and open to differing opinions is critical to furthering society and avoiding unnecessary conflict. Perhaps if we stopped viewing others as simply debate practice instead of a source of untapped knowledge, then we could truly make America great again.