Do you have a certain belief that you feel passionate about?
Think it over for a moment. Something you firmly believe in.
It could be that women should be able to terminate a pregnancy, or that animals should not be eaten, or that healthcare should be universal.
Here are a few other examples::
- Should adults have the right to carry a handgun?
- Should the death penalty be allowed?
- Should euthanasia be legal?
- Should prostitution be legal?
Personally, I can jump through each of those pretty quick and give you a strong “yes” or “no”. In fact, my blood starts pumping as I begin to read through them, thinking about the arguments that other people may have who feel different than I do.
My brain even starts coming up with reasons and justifications as to why my view is right, and by the end of the list I’ve started a heated debate in my head.
MAKE YOUR CHOICE
So, for the most eye opening experience of your life, I’ll now ask you to choose the belief you feel most strongly about.
The one that sticks out and gets your blood pumping just thinking about someone expressing that they feel the opposite.
Got it? Great.
Now, for the next 15 minutes you will dig up facts (from credible sources), find testimonials (if possible), and scour the web to argue, fight, and even viciously promote the OPPOSITE view from your strongly held belief.
Aggressively pro-choice? Now you’re fighting for the rights of unborn children everywhere. Think the death penalty is the worst decision in US history? Now you’re fighting to implement it in every state. Avid meat eater? Better convince us that the entire country must switch to a plant-based diet.
Mild: You elicit curious or positive facial expressions. You nod your head, swing your arms, or exclaim “yeah!” excitedly.
Moderate: You make a face of disgust, lean backwards, clench your hands, pull your arms close to your body, or turn your head away.
Agitated: You elicit an aggressive or violent reaction such as throwing items, making exclamations such as “fuck this shit” or “this is horseshit”, walk away, or physically assault or harm another person.
In 15 minutes you must compile an argument convincing enough to sway your fellow peers. You must have a prepared speech with at least 4 arguments.
Those who exhibit moderate reactions will get the most out of this exercise. This is becuase they possess the eagerness and ability to learn, but their emotional intelligence is still being formed. Therefore there is potential for growth and development.
Those who exhibit mild reactions likely already have the ability to see an argument from both sides, but likely have yet to inject themselves into a situation such as this where they must not only feel but argue another viewpoint.This group with therefore also benefit from this exercise.
Those who exhibit agitated reactions rarely participate in the exercise, or will pretend to participate while actually building up resentment against the other participants. This fostered hatred has not yet resulted in any beneficial results and more often leads to expulsion or physical harm.