My way isn’t necessarily the best way mind you. I just like keeping a clear head so I can deal with issues at the time I need to.
I have a lot of friends online and I have family in person.
Many of them are news hounds. They love staying up to date.
Some have personal causes, personal missions, things that are important to them.
Now, how do *we* find out about the news?
The media. They scour the world and decide what will get people to view their news channel or buy their newspapers. Therefore, they pick the stories that will cause the largest emotional impact in us and that is what we find out about, because advertisers pay for the news, nearly all of it.
Just how it is.
Now we have the news. We don’t hear everything that’s going on, because we can’t. Brainspace too small, media too limited.
Within my online friends and family, the news filters through their brains, their opinions, their feelings. They don’t tell me everything they see, because I don’t ask.
But – if they feel it is *really important* for me to know, they’ll tell me.
Since my friendships/family is valuable to me, what’s important to them, is important to me.
So I listen.
Then I research. First I learn more about their opinion.
Then I look for at least one opposing position, but preferably I look for three or more perspectives.
Typically I only find two – theirs and their “opposite”; and sometimes the opposing position is *very very difficult* to find. Two isn’t usually enough, but if it’s what I have to go with, then that’s what I go with.
With multiple opinions in hand, I think through the history of similar situations. I try to go as far back in history as i can, with the little I know.
I take in to account cultural differences, misunderstandings of language (the one for Islam and Muslim is an interesting mistake Westerners make and leads to great misunderstandings), etc.
Then I form an opinion.
Once I’ve formed an opinion, I keep listening to whoever is talking to revise my opinion if it’s mistaken, but at least I have something to contribute, because my friends will talk about it and I like being friendly.
I often take the opposite point of view, if there were only two choices. I try to find a 3rd point of view when I can, if not more though.
I do this to engage in conversation , so that they can really have a chance to think critically about their position. I will know enough about a different opinion to be intelligent, give a decent debate and sometimes in the end, change my opinion to theirs.
I do this, because people like debating things they’re passionate about.
And those that like to express an opinion and then RUN… I go, “No – no no no no, you wait a minute here. I listened to you; listen to ANOTHER opinion that’s not the same as yours”.
In the end, I just want to make my coffee, eat, poop, take a nap.
But I’ll debate. I give friends what they want sometimes agreement, but usually a challenge so they can figure out if they *really* believe something or if they’re just parroting, because I believe that unchallenged opinions shared by many only leads to trouble. Every time.