Daily Prompt: Pick a contentious issue about which you care deeply — it could be the same-sex marriage debate, or just a disagreement you’re having with a friend. Write a post defending the opposite position, and then reflect on what it was like to do that.
One of the things I’ve always minded about growing up was that my parents were often too busy working to attend school meetings, concerts, working bees, or even just to spend some time solely with me. My argument is that it’s the little details that count; I could really care less about the newest clothing trend or popular game as long as there was someone to read me a bedtime story or be there to confide to when I’m having an emotional breakdown. As they weren’t there to do such mundane tasks, I’ve grown up far too independent – I still find sudden, nonsensical (to me) authority a pain in the ass – and am pessimistic on the best days about the reliability of others.
Now, to try to look at it from the other side with as little bias as possible:
– They work hard all the time so that I can live a happy life with as many creature comforts and desires as possible.
– They’re looking ahead towards paying my tuition, giving me a back-up plan in case I fall as a grown up, etc… There’s so much to think about, the little details don’t even make it into conscious thought.
– They never got such treatment as children themselves, so it’s not something they automatically think needs to be done.
– They’re too tired from a long and stressful day to do – or even remember – these little things.
– They are there for me to confide in; I just never go to them and they can’t tell when I’m not okay.
– I’m not constantly attentive of their needs – rest, a shoulder, an ear – so it’s hypocritical to expect such things from them.
– They’re constantly thinking of my happiness, and I should realise that.
Okay, so there are quite a lot of counter-points. I could probably make a rebuttal for every single point listed, but that’s how it is when I feel strongly about something; that, and I also am quite adamant that I have considered all aspects, understand their reasoning very well, thank you and still think my point is valid. Still, even my indignant self will admit that the grass is always greener, and chances are I would prefer the latest game release if I had grown up with the things I wished for.
Truth is, I probably don’t understand anything at all. Not really. I’ve never been a parent, never had to work to pay an extra mouth. Never worried to the point that anything more than getting through a day slips my mind. I can think things like I’ll definitely save up money now for my child/children; if I have children, I won’t leave them alone. I’ll be there for them whenever they need me – the list goes on, but everything sounds great in theory. I’ve never experienced it properly, so what can I really say about their reasons?
Doing this exercise does put things in perspective a bit. They’re points that I’ve considered and/or heard before, but reminding myself of them is always good to keep things clear and stop from falling into an angst about it. It also reminds me that there’s no right and wrong to most arguments; people look at things differently, and so the things they deem important, the things they do and don’t do, will also differ – and it’s important to remember that the next time I’m in an argument about something. The other side has their reasons too – they’re not doing it just to make things difficult.