Friday, April 14, 2006

Discussions

Yesterday I drove the school van and was again reminded of the Kropf/Smucker gene that makes people love to argue.

Emily, Preston, Ben, Justin, and maybe a few others were discussing in loud voices and heated tones whether or not you can love someone you don't know. I heard snippets about Stanley Warfel (an 80-something guy from church), missionaries, "all the people in the world," and Osama bin Laden. They talked about being nice to people, praying for people, and really caring about people.

And when the last child had been dropped off, nothing had been resolved.

After over 21 years in the family I am still amazed at how these people love to argue. Actually, they prefer to call it discussing. They love to rally the facts, volley the figures, intimidate, whip back with snappy replies, and trap the other person in his own reasoning. If they run out of logic, they talk louder. If all else fails, they yank the steering wheel and turn the conversation down a side street to utterly confuse you.

My children are expert arguers. If there's nothing handy to argue about, they invent something. Matt and Amy used to have long arguments over the supper dishes about whether a horse or a helicopter would be the best transportation back and forth from the warehouse. "But a horse is nice and friendly and you could hug it." "But a helicopter would be more efficient." Recently, Ben and Jenny had a huge row over whether that was a chomp or a nibble that Jenny took out of Ben's pretzel. "I told her she could have a nibble and she took a chomp!" Then there was the time not long ago when Jenny and Emily had a big argument over whether or not Emily was winking with both eyes at the same time.

I don't know how I got myself into this situation because I hate arguments. I refuse to discuss an issue purely for the sake of discussing it, without a goal of reaching an understanding, and arguments, with voices raised and barbs thrown, make me want to duck and run.

I do, however, love conversations. Three or four ladies around a table, just talking. No agendas, no winners and losers. One tells a funny story and we all laugh. Another shares a humiliating experience and we all sympathize. Another feels tired all the time and we tell what helped us be more energetic.

That's what I like.

Quote of the Day:
"What do you say if someone compliments you on your humbleness?"
--Emily

6 comments:

  1. Emily, you could try saying (with great humbleness of mind, of course), "You mean humility, I presume?"

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  2. I must admit, I love to argue.

    Thanks so much for your encouraging comment!

    --shelley

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  3. I love to argue too.I suppose you knew that. :)

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  4. Demonstrate a different character quality like gratefulness by simply saying, "Thankyou".

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  5. I think I like a little of both--a good arguement gets the blood flowing!!:)But I must say a good chuckle and sympathy over a cup of coffee is the nicest--I've found arguing doesn't flow quite as nice as it used too!!!:)

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