Until recently I wasn’t being intellectually stimulated in my normal life. Having gone back to uni this semester I’m getting it again, but that’s a new thing. I am LOVING it! I love the challenge that I’m getting from my post-grad maths studies. It’s hard, but I relish that.
I’ve been really struggling for the last couple of years because I feel like I’ve had nothing to challenge me intellectually, and that is a huge part of how I’m made and what I enjoy.
To clarify: I adore my job; it’s demanding, interesting, ever-changing and emotionally draining, but it does not challenge me intellectually.
I want people to talk to about challenging ideas of all sorts. I also want to work through those ideas myself. That’s part of the reason why I love writing this blog, it’s a chance for me to explore ideas that I’m thinking through.
To my frustration, I find that not a lot of people enjoy rigorous, intellectual debate. I understand that it’s not everyone’s idea of enjoyment, but it’s certainly mine. I adore debating ideas with people who both agree and disagree with me. To me, a point of disagreement shouldn’t be a point of division. It is only a point of division when we let it be.
I actually like disagreeing with people in a debate; it allows me both to hear what the other side thinks, and it helps me to either change my own ideas, or cement why I think what I think. Articulating why we think what we think is a great way to more fully understand our own opinions.
I get passionate about ideas and about what I believe, and I want to talk about it. I work through my ideas by thinking out loud and talking about them. I want to talk to others who feel passionate about things too. I want to have heated discussions and feel strongly and get animated about it! This doesn’t mean I need to fight with people, not at all. I want to talk to people who also want to talk passionately about things. I want to have full on, heated discussions, and for all parties to walk away feeling good about it.
So many people get offended in these types of discussion. They see disagreement as a form of insult or attack, but it doesn’t have to be. I acknowledge that it can be, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. We can disagree and still be ok.
I wish I knew more people who liked to discuss ideas and issues the way I do. This is particularly relevant at election time. I am so into politics, and I want to discuss it with people! I hate that so many people are bored by politics; it is everything! If you think it isn’t, ask an Egyptian what it means for them.
This is not some sort of judgement on those who don’t enjoy what I do; it’s ok to not enjoy this kind of debate. I just want to know more people who do.
This is one of the reasons why I love twitter so much. It’s an online environment for such things, at least to a certain degree. Twitter is utterly brilliant and I’d be poorer without it.