Bill Anderson – Ready for a fight?

Seems to me that we are in love with conflict. There was a time when what we fell about was politics, football, or religion, the topics discouraged in social conversation. How simple life was in those days.

In these times, the topics that polarise us seem to be endless: all of the above, and diversity, positive discrimination, gender identity, vaccines, mask wearing, Israel or Palestine, Ukraine or Russia, climate change. I think this is enough to make the point.

What is more complex about this is that everyone seems to want to inhabit the moral high ground as if their point of view scores higher on a scale of one to ten than that of those who hold the opposite opinion

I spend a lot of time on social media; too much in fact, and not a day goes by when people don’t get shirty with each other. Everybody knows best and thinks that their opinion is a fact to be adopted by the world as a whole, and god help anyone who disagrees with them. How did we get to the point where no one listens to anyone else’s point of view anymore?  There is nothing wrong in changing our perspective on something, but that doesn’t happen by digging our heels in and refusing to listen.

The only topics I don’t hear people arguing about these days are the role of the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum. They seem to be met with universal suspicion. I wonder why?

I find the constant obsession with needing to be right, and looking for offence in everything tiresome.  Having said that, shutting down one side of any debate, as has been happening on multiple media sources and on several themes recently, is not the way to reach agreement. It only adds to the irritation. I am all for free and open debate, done with respect, and with open ears and receptive minds on both sides.

After just one week in post as editor there have been many challenges, and to be honest, it is very clear to me that apart from this editorial, where I get to say what I want, opinions are rarely a helpful contribution to any debate. To misquote the great Maggie Smith, ‘Having an opinion is like having a ‘male member’. In private you can hold it as much as you like, but when you start shoving it in other people’s faces, you had better have a dammed good explanation’.

Perhaps these days we should just stick to arguing about politics, football, or religion.

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Written by

Bill Anderson

Originally from Scotland, Bill has been a permanent resident in Spain for over 20 years many of which were spent in teaching. He has published 5 novels. He lives in Mijas Costa, and is editor of EWN.