People are interesting, and opinions are like belly buttons; everybody has one. The longer I live on this earth, the more I continue to be amazed at the way different people think and then feel the need to express their thoughts as if they were hard facts. It keeps me on my toes! When I was younger and not as wise as I am today, (fully aware that I'm not yet as wise as I'll become in the future, in case you were wondering), I thought I needed to argue with any and every expressed idea that I disagreed with. It was exhausting! I have since come to believe that most people simply want to be heard. They get something in their head and they verbally try it on for size. I don't think they're always expecting a response, they just might be verbal processors. If we all thought alike, there would never be new inventions. We would never hear new songs or get to enjoy different types of movies and entertainment. We'd all eat the same food day after day or drive the same kind of car and wear uniforms. Egads! Life would be quite boring. I, for one, appreciate the fact that we have freedom of expression, even if I don't always agree with what those around me are saying. It provokes thought and action and many times leads to necessary change for the betterment of all. Let's practice the art of thoughtful discussion when we disagree with others and reflective listening to make certain that what we're hearing was the intended message. Conversation is a lost art but one worth studying. What say you?