Devil’s Advocate

I made a joke on my Facebook status last year during election time. You could give these gifts that were shaped buttons that said “Obama ’08”. Clearly, if you could give an Obama button you could give out a McCain button. I made the joke that I would give out McCain button if I only had Republican friends. I thought about it for a moment…I really do not have any friends who are Republican!

After meeting with my Dialogue Group today, I really had to think if I do have that one person that has a completely opposite view on life. It turns out that I do not. Sure, I have co-workers that may share a difference of opinion from me, but there are just as liberal as I am. I can disagree with loved ones, but nothing too far from what I consider to be ordinary. I generally look at the landscape of my life and I don’t have that one person that I can debate with in terms of life, politics, race, or gender issues.

This isn’t an issue about being able to talk back and forth about sports either. I can go toe to toe with any Yankee or Phillies fan about The Mets. I can argue all day about how the Knicks suck or how much I cannot stand the NBA anymore. Those things are not issues that I consider to be hot topics. Those are just sports, in which any man can debate about.

I am not saying that I want to get up from this laptop and start looking for Republican friends, but I do wonder how enriched I would be by someone who does not share the same ideals that I have. Hell, would they even like me; better yet, would I like them? There can be talk all day about how we need diversity in our lives and in the lives of our children. However, we tend to stray away from people who have different ideals from us. Don’t get me wrong either, this is not an invitation from me to all the bible thumping, white supremacist, anti-everything people to start spreading their message to me.

Today, I realized the importance of having that one person in the room who has a very different opinion than everyone else. While some will see it as, that person being an asshole. I view it as a rite for that person to have his/her voice be heard. It does not matter if they agree with the majority or not. It only take one person to change the mind of many. The reason I know this is because many times, I am that one person that has to fight for students or situations that the majority sometimes forget. It helps to be the Devil’s Advocate if no one else is.

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