Your take on this?
In a magazine, I read a series of interviews of couples happily married for more than two decades. It featured ordinary as well as celebrity couples. What struck me was none of them looked made-for-each-other. Many husbands and wives were poles apart by their nature; one introvert, other outgoing, husband unassuming, wife flamboyant, the man loved computers and machines while the woman, books and films. In some cases, wives were extremely career-minded while their partners were more homebound. Divergence of attitudes and likes was evident but perhaps what kept them going was respect for others’ opinions.
Come on, I am not talking about ‘secretes of happy marriages’ or ‘relationships’. I was wondering many of us can accommodate diverse interests but what happens when someone holds viewpoint exactly opposite to our own? Why can’t we exhibit similar levels tolerance here? For example, many of those who love classic English literature believe that Shakespeare is ‘the’ best writer. Can they respect someone saying that the writer is not exactly up there? It’s largely to do with human psyche. Beg to differ and you may be in for trouble.
Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akthtar’s remarks on Indian master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar sparked off a huge debate not only India, where Sachin is treated like God, but also all over the cricketing world. World’s one of the fastest bowlers, in his autobiography, claimed Tendulkar was ‘scared’ of facing him. It could be a gimmick to sell his book. That apart, how many of the master-blaster’s fan can really take that comment healthily? When we idolise him (And I am no exception), why do we insist that everyone should have a similar opinion about him? The comment came from a bowler of international repute, no matter how controversial. Let’s learn to take such remarks in our strides instead of raising a hue and cry.
Everyone has a perspective and we should to respect all though they may not go well with our thinking. To me Tendulkar is the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. However, I wasn’t hostile when a colleague came up with some interesting analysis and opined that Rickey Ponting is a better player. He said though Tendulkar is close to post 100 centuries, Ponting has been part of 100 Australia wins. All he meant was the worth of Ponting’s innings was more. Each to his own!
Many of you must have observed this. Most of the vegetarians are intolerant to non-veg food. Why can’t we accept that we are free to eat kind food we like and want and so are others? Many ‘religious’ people do not respect non-religious or atheist folks and the converse is also true. Recently, we saw how Prashant Bhushan, eminent lawyer and Team Anna member, was thrashed at his chamber in the Supreme Court for airing an opinion opposite to some group’s ideology. Someone’s opinion doesn’t coincide with you but does it mean you beat the person black and blue? It’s strange we talk of democracy and cannot be tolerant to a line of thinking different from our own.
We should learn to respect and accept opinions that are diametrically opposite to ours. Yes, it is to put it in practice but after all, this is how things are. We should learn to ignore or choose not to react in such cases. We can begin with small things. Suppose you buy a T-shirt of your favourite colour and someone very close to you finds the colour ‘awful’. No need to lose cool or get upset. When we understand in day-to-day matters that people may have different takes, we will understand that we cannot stop anyone from letting us know what s/he feels.
Opinions will differ but every opinion should have some basis. Let’s make sure we have that solid foundation to rest our opinions on.