Are you always and completely right on every issue? If so, congratulations! If not, read on.

People with differing visions, worldviews, and tendencies disagree about important issues. Sometimes the disputes become intense. It’s rare for anyone to change their vision or a major viewpoint. Even people of faith can and do become vigorous when confronting others who understand or believe differently.

Important Issues and Trivial Issues

Important issues merit clear thought and sincere advocacy. That is as it should be. Perhaps the defining difference between a vital issue and a trivial one is whether it is worth the effort of deep thinking.  Trivial issues aren’t worth the trouble of trying to persuasively articulate your understanding. Vital matters are worth the pain and difficulty of protracted discussion and negotiation.

The World Today

Many people long for “the good old days.” They believe we all used to get along years ago. Poor memory or flawed understanding of the truth are two main reasons for admiring a peaceful past.

People of color and women had less input decades ago. Now there are more diverse views around the table. Each person brings their heartfelt hopes, fears, values, and preferences.

Here’s my plea: disagree without being disagreeable.

Not all people on the other side are ill-informed, stupid, or evil. Consider the possibility the people on the other side might know something you don’t. Their perspective might show some deeper truth or a better course of action.

The people who don’t understand it your way will not disappear. It is unlikely they will convert to your understanding. You will be spending the rest of your life on this planet with them. Will they respond better to your kindness, compassion, and understanding, or your contempt and scorn? Many people return what they receive.

So how do you want to spend your remaining years among people who believe you are wrong?  “Treat people the way you want to be treated,” is the simple idea. Candidly, I am often challenged by applying it. Yet it seems to be worth the attempt.

Please tell me your better way to deal with strong disagreements.


Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.

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