Etiam si omnes — ego non

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Fall

Last week someone gave me one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. After class one of my professors said to me “you never give an opinion until you have fully understood what is happening.” As lame as this sound, I felt validated in my decision to be intentional with my opinions. It really is the satisfaction that comes from knowing that somebody else sees this in me.

It requires no effort to spit out the first thing that comes to one’s mind. On the other hand, not giving an opinion on a matter you do not completely understand requires discipline and a lot of self-control. More importantly, reserving your opinions to yourself until you have a good grasp on the subject needs to be a deliberate action.

Weirdly, the timing of this compliment was perfectly matched to me coming across an article, The Dying Art of Disagreement. Please take 15 minutes of your time and read it; I has so many valuable truths in it. One of the many great points that Bret Stephens, the author of this article, makes is this one:

To disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say.”

If I had a penny for every person who foolishly shares a weak opinion on an issue he/she has no understanding, I would be sooo rich! Like, really rich. To be honest, it bothers me every time I hear someone who stubbornly thinks his/her opinion is the ultimate conclusion of an issue. Perhaps, this is the reason why I keep quiet until I am able to give a good opinion. An opinion that reflects a deep understanding of the issue. An opinion that shows you have consider the issue from different perspectives. An opinion that considers consequences that go far beyond a short period of time. An opinion that sees the people involved in it and thinks of ways they could be affected by. An opinion that exhibits compassion, kindness, selflessness, and fairness.

Yes, there are many things we must consider when forming an opinion. Ironically, the only way to have good opinions is to listen to other people’s opinions. And here’s the key to get the most out of other’s opinions: listen with intention and purpose; do not arrogantly dismiss the ideas that go against your own. No one likes a person who vaguely listens to what one has share. No one. So just don’t be that person.

I can imagine what you might be thinking, our opinions set us apart from others, they make us who we are. Yes, they do. However, while it is important to develop our individuality (“Even if all others, not I”), it’s equally important, if not more, to expand our tolerance. Treasure different opinions. Welcome contradictory views. Instigate healthy debates.

Let’s try to save the dying art of disagreement. One opinion at a time.

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Outnumbered

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Rojo

What should you be looking for in your own life? What are God’s miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, “I am right here”? Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life—and then acted again. Treasure them as moments the Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices. But allow Him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own. Treasure His involvement. Sometimes we consider changes in our plans as missteps on our journey. Think of them more as first steps to being “on the Lord’s errand.” -Ronald A. Rasband

Five things that I learned this month:

  1. Being a business major means that you, as a woman, will always be greatly outnumbered by men. This has its downsides, but it also has its upsides! And this month I was reminded of how much better student/person/professional I am surrounded by my male classmates.
  2. There is no better feeling than ignoring your email. Ironically, there is no worse feeling that opening your email after neglecting it for days.
  3. Always have an “introduce yourself” pitch prepared. You would guess that at this point Diana would have figured this one out. Noup, I still babble my way through introductions. One of these days though… I am telling you, I will get it together.
  4. We are all much more than a number; any number. Whatever number you think you are, you are not. I am skeptical about many things but of this I am completely sure.
  5. I’ve come to realize that there are very few things that baking, sleeping, or taking a bath cannot solve *types as she takes out a yogurt and berries cake out of the oven*.

So long, Summer

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Summer

It has finally happened: summer is officially over. And for the first time in a few years, it pains me that this has happened. Instead of having perfectly bright, autumn, brisk mornings, we get cold rain and cloudy skies. Here is to hoping the weather improves! Now a recap of my week and some thoughts that have been in my mind…

Earlier last week, I received some sad news. On Tuesday, September 19, Mexico was hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake. Just 12 days before that it had been hit by a 8.1 earthquake. I first found about it from my sister’s text where she told us (my family and I) that she was fine. I was relieved to hear she was okay. However, I had forgotten that my dad was going to be in Mexico City that day. When I heard that my dad was there I immediately started praying for his welfare. It took longer to hear back from him and I promise, 18 minutes have never ever passed by so slowly. Finally, he contacted us and said he, too, was fine.

Moments like this certainly make you revaluate what you hold as important. As I was waiting to hear back from my dad, I started thinking how insignificant everything seemed compared to loosing someone you love. I am blessed to not have lost anyone on Tuesday and for that I am and will be eternally grateful. Nevertheless, the experience has shed a much needed light to the things that really matter in life.

We get so worried about trivial things. We get annoyed by inconsequential things. We act ungratefully towards each other.  We overlook our blessings constantly. We take for granted too many things. And in the end, I think we would have wished we hadn’t. Life is better than our bad days, bigger than our fears, and shorter than it appears to be. I hope that from this day onward, neither you nor I will take from granted anything that is good in life because things can change literally in a blink of eye.