Should I Nod?


Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

I love arguments, may they be formal or informal. They make me think. They help me improve my communication skills. The other party’s opinions sometimes broaden my perspective and allow me to lose my premise. The downside, however, is that others take them too seriously, thereby forgetting the purpose of the discussion which is to clarify things and not to destroy principles. If Galileo did not argue that the earth revolves around the sun, until now, people would have been believing Copernicus’ idea.

Last December, I was browsing my Pages Feed and Study CIMA‘s post caught my attention. I shared it and said, “Nods in agreement. 👍”

Eight friends instantly gave it a “thumbs-up.”  But one of my teachers this semester, who celebrates her birthday today, corrected me and commented,

WRONG. Read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers and what he had to say about Bill Gates’ 10,000 hours.  Even the genius Albert Einstein says you must persevere to work hard. “Studying late” means cramming and it has already been proven useless. Good only for short-term memory. Bill Gates may be an exception but not all of us are geniuses. Nothing beats diligence, hard work and perseverance.

I did not know:

1. what to reply ( Should I defend that post or just believe in her opinion? The day after that, we were scheduled to have a quiz for which I have not prepared. I reposted the photo to somehow gain self-assurance that I can score high with limited time left to study. I only agreed with Bill Gates’ statement at that instance, but I did not consider it as one of my guiding quotes in academics); and

2. how to reply (Should I reply on my post or leave her a private message? Would it be better if I talk to her personally? ).

I used the “I-did-not-know-you-commented” technique, pretending that I was not notified with regard to that comment. I neither gave it a like nor replied. Being a lawyer, she must have had something in mind why I left her hanging. She succeeded at one thing: to remind me that “nothing beats diligence, hard work and perseverance.” I was afraid to concede. But later, I realized that what I did was worse than conceding. I wanted to retort, “Yes, Atty. I am wrong. But please, don’t reflect this mistake in my grades.”

I must read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers. Do you have an e-book? 😀

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Agree to Disagree.”

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