Understanding Another View - Writing Prompt

“Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.” - George Santayana

In my own translation, I think that the quote above means that we should listen and understand another person's ideas, thoughts, beliefs, or other explanations that they may have for life or another issue that they support because we shoot down anything that the person may say that we may not want to hear. Sometimes I contradict myself when I am standing up for an issue I agree on and then I turn around and go against it. I really have not understood fully the concept of not contradicting yourself. The word contradict means deny directly, to speak or declare against one's view. When I noticed Monday on the class blog that there was writing prompt, but I did not straight off respond to it because I wanted to read and fully understand what my response would be. I know there is no wrong or right answer in responding to the prompt.

I know for myself that I usually always listen to what people have to say and think to myself either I agree with them or should I state the fact that I do not agree with them and have the urge to state what I believe. I think it is a defensive move in the way of a quick reaction. Someone may say what they think of a certain situation and we react by disagreeing with them by declaring a statement that knocks out what he or she is trying to point out to us. I think it is fair enough to listen to a person who is trying to make an important speech or do something for a good change. I have not heard one speech the presidential candidates have made thus far. I should be listening to them because one of them will be our next president. I have come to the terms with the questions: Do I really care? What does this have to do with me?

Now that I am in college and progressing through the second semester at U of M, I'm starting improve myself at having an open mind. Not everyone think alive nor do they have the courage to step up and say something whether someone cares or not. Knowing is one thing, but understanding what you know is another concept. When I secure what I know and stand for, later in life, I find myself contradicting myself. What I mean is that sometimes what you believe in and stands for needs a bit of adjustment or update. In other words, if I go back and read my manifesto and I end up not going by that as a plan of leadership or what I believe, then I oppose what I have written, then I would have to go and revision new goals or something of the like. I can use the "although however" statement. Although I may agree with what a writer says in an article, however, I disagree because I may want to state what I think about what the writer is talking about.

This response is what I believe is what and how I feel on the concept of contradicting someone's view and how it affects me in what I stand for and believe.


  • Hey Kevin, I liked your response to this prompt. I agree with you about not completely understanding the word "contradict". I think that when I try to do right in this instance, I find myself contradicting myself or another person still. Thanks for commenting on my "Babel" blog. I hope you haven't assumed that I am against you on the issue; on the contrary, I actually agreed with you. I just wanted to put the idea out there to make people think, so thanks for making the blog a success!

  • Carlin, I enjoyed your response on the prompt as well. You are welcome for the comment. I'm sure you may hear more from me! I do think nor assume that you are against me with this issue. People will have their input on this subject. As stated, people are quickly to not listen to others before they want to conclude with a strong statement on what they believe.