The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Disagreeable Friends

What is the value of getting to know people you disagree with?

In my current circumstances, I don't regularly meet up with people I disagree with--not the same ones at least. I'm sure that I disagree with the guy next to me in the supermarket or with the waiter who took my order last night. But I don't have ongoing relationships with people I disagree with.

Sure, no two people completely agree on everything, but our friends generally see things in much the same way as we do. That's usually how they become our friends. It's natural to gravitate toward people who share you interests and worldviews. You end up choosing the same activities, frequenting the same places, liking the same things. So you end up sharing those things together because it's always better than enjoying it alone. So, why get to know people who aren't like you?

Ironically, individuals who are willing to do just that must have at least one value in common: call it diversity or whatever. For disagreeing friends to be willing to continue being friends, they must both value being with others who don't see eye to eye with them. And, I think that in the end, these two disagreeing friends are seeking to establish more agreement or at least develop a friendship founded upon an understanding despite disagreeing.

I live, currently, an insulated life. My job, my evenings, my weekends, almost entirely consist of people who agree with me or don't care to disagree. I'm trying to branch out and meet people who don't live by the rules I do. Yet, in my efforts to do so, I'm looking for people who will at least have some common interest: writing or reading in my case. So, I can't get away from agreement on some level, to some degree.

So, then, why pursue friendships of disagreement at all?