My curious coworker and I had another verbal exchange today. I really don’t know if he is purposely trying to push my buttons to see what kind of reaction he can extract or what his intentions are, but he is picking some extremely controversial (often touchy) subjects to discuss. Today, he was all about evolution.
I am a little bit of a conundrum to people when it comes to issues such as these. See, I believe in a Higher Power (specifically God), yet I also believe in The Big Bang Theory, evolution, and other life forms (a.k.a. aliens). To me, these entities don’t necessarily contradict each other. In fact, I believe they go hand in hand. There are many pieces of scientific, factual evidence that support The Big Bang and evolution/natural selection that my analytical brain cannot just ignore in good conscience. However, these theories also have holes and pieces that just don’t add up. Thus, the only thing that can connect those dots, in my opinion, is the presence of an omnipotent Higher Power. But that’s besides the point here.
The topic of the day began with the discussion of the recent “alien footage” that NASA allegedly tried to cover up on their live satellite feed. If you are interested in the video, you can click this link: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/586976/NASA-International-Space-Station-UFO-Video-Youtube-Shocking-Proof-Alien-Life.
From there, the conversation moved from belief in aliens to belief in dinosaur existence and ultimately to evolution. The whole back and forth discourse we had would have been fine if my coworker was more open minded. However, he kept stating opinions as fact and asserting that my explanations for my beliefs were somehow inadequate. This was extremely frustrating to me, and I finally ended the conversation by saying, “Well, no one knows for sure, but it is interesting to hear your perspective”.
After reflecting on that exchange, it struck me as interesting how almost desperate he seemed for answers. He was looking for validation that his opinions were in fact true…or perhaps that they most certainly were not true. Either way, he just wanted a definitive declaration that told him what to believe and as a result, he ruffled me to the point of contention. This is human nature exemplified. See, I don’t think we as a society are comfortable with not knowing…with sitting in the “gray area” of life. We want answers, and we want them now. But I think there is beauty in the in-between. There is something really special in the ability to look at someone and honestly say, “I don’t know”. It opens up a door for genuine communication and conversation; it allows us the opportunity to take in the vastly different opinions around us without bunching up and becoming defensive or judgmental because we aren’t standing up for a particular side. Yes, it is nice to prove that we are “right” about something, but there is nothing wrong with discovering that we weren’t. Life shouldn’t be about coming to concrete answers, it should be about learning to appreciate the thoughts, beliefs, and opinions of those who are in the same confused boat as we are.
So from now on, I’m going to try and be slow to say I believe in something with no wiggle room for change. Instead, I will sit back, relax, and try out an, “I’m not too sure… What do YOU think?” and see what wonderful conversations I can uncover.
I’ll let you know how it goes 😉