Life issues: Incident at Whitewater
Respecting differences in opinion
Boers v British
The episode, ‘Incident at Whitewater,’ is set in South Africa during the Boer War. The British and Boer sides differed greatly in their ideology as is illustrated when Corporal Audas and Els have a tremendous balmy.
When asked why he saved Pieter’s life, Trooper Ford replies ” he was an honest fighter, the fallen wounded.” Ford respects Pieter as a man, despite the strong differences in opinion between British and Boers, and is prepared to help him in his time of crisis.
Audas argues fervently with Els about the Boer’s values. However, at the end of the episode Pieter presents Audas with a ‘pipe of peace’ as a sign of friendship and thanks. Although the men have markedly different views, they are still able to respect each other as individuals.
Dealing with differences of opinion
Diversity of opinion is a good thing. It can be interesting having a constructive disagreement or debate with somebody. Another opinion can spark a different idea or solution and can often end in compromise and a Win-Win situation for both parties. So argue away, but within reason.
It is important that we stay objective when we argue. We can argue about the point at hand but just because we disagree with the other person about an issue, this certainly does not mean that we don’t like the person. Fisticuffs need not result from an argument over what the weather is expected to do tomorrow.
Politicians argue all the time – it’s certainly hard to stop them. It is considered proper that important laws and decisions are debated and discussed. Within political forums there is a certain set of ethics, which determines what is fair debate and what is not.
Like in a political forum, we can use some basic guidelines in order to keep the arguments objective. It is so easy to bring the dispute down to a personal level and this is not constructive. Nothing gets solved when people are taking pot shots and insulting the other person.
Feeling argumentative? Here are some tips for you!
If you feel like having a debate with somebody don’t just rip into it holus bolus- things may not work out too well.
It could even be worthwhile going over some ground rules first. Here are some suggestions:
1. Only argue about things that actually matter to you
2. Use open body language
3. Both sides get a chance to express their opinions equally
4. Both use active listening skills
5. Both sides are prepared to concede to the other if they have a good point, if they think they have themselves made a mistake
6. Accept the other person’s communication style (e.g. quieter, domineering) and allow for it
7. Settle at the end of the argument and do or talk about something else completely different
8. Nobody should be trying to get the last word!
9. Nobody needs to win the argument