The Importance of Middle Ground

In modern day, middle ground has become a rarity. It seems that no matter what issue is presented, most of debate consists of two opposing extremists. As someone who is argumentative and always ready for a reasonable debate, I find myself always considering both options and finding a middle ground with another. I believe that this type of mindset, especially dealing with modern day discussions, is the most successful and quite relieving. This can be applied to nearly every discussion or argument, as an argument should only be valid if logic and reasoning are being applied. Without this being applied, it nearly makes you seem stubborn and ignorant; factual evidence is key. Not having this mind set in modern day is one of the exact reasons why extremists exist, by purely being ignorant of the other side of things. Arguments are more complex than one thinks and can truly display the maturity present in a person.

Middle ground is home to many different factors, such as, listening, feeling empathy, understanding, and consideration. This is the fundamental aspect of arguments, even everyday conversation. These are everyday tactical factors in being social. I believe using these factors, may even better one as a person. Middle ground also goes hand in hand with being open minded and calm. It breaks the ground of hostility that is present in differing opinions from opposing sides of a predicament.

An opinion is truly an opinion when you weigh out and consider both sides of the spectrum. A recent discussion up for debate has been abortion and if it is morally right to perform. Personally, as long as it is done humanely and not too far past a certain time, I support it, but I also recognize why someone else wouldn’t. I tend to find middle ground with friends who may have an opposing opinion. For example, my friend believes abortion should only be for victims of rape or incest. I recognize their moral belief in the humanity of the act, but I also disagree due to my own opinion and facts I find important. Instead of stressing a long argument, we recognize each other’s opinions and leave it at that. It is relieving when you don’t have to have a long, heated argument that ultimately will go nowhere and benefit no one. Finding middle ground may save you an exhausted sigh after failing to convince another person.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of debating subjects and their moral allowance is when someone who has a much higher political influence, states their opinion on a subject, leading to its acceptance or revocation as law. This public statement can lead to an outrage from the public or agreement and contentedness. The true debate, lies in where it’s headed, not in what one is thinking. Is the argument I’m having for my own interest or is it for final law? Is my opinion going to shape the laws being formed? Although an opinion from a political official doesn't always overrun the majority's thought on an issue, it can shape and influence its decision in some ways. For example, legalizing abortion, of course will hurt the hearts of those against it, now creating the great debate of extremism and the inability that everyone will think like you. Law is fundamental in our society, so when a law is made, the minority will be outraged in the decision if they don't agree with it. The mindset of having a persuasive attitude, to convince others to think like you, is politically efficient, but also not always a good process to apply in an argument of someone who already thinks differently.  This mindset only works on those who don’t have strict opinions yet. If you are attempting to persuade someone who already has a strict and specific opinion on a topic, it may anger them and cause blatant hostility. It is anyone's inclination to get angry when someone is attempting to force their opinion on them. This should be avoided at all costs when beginning an argument.

Opinions are the biggest divide of the modern day, creating gaps in social class.  Arguments reign constantly, and this is especially shown in our political parties. These arguments are reasonable in the sense that they are debates for the views of our country, but they are also representing the divide in our country. A debate should not be bickering, but instead, a true argument where there is listening. A debate or argument is invalid without listening, which is something not everyone seems to notice. I believe if everyone just listened to each other and felt empathy for one another, debates wouldn't be as crazy or as full of extreme squabbling as it is in our modern day society.

Applying common logic and understanding when finding middle ground in an argument is also very significant. This logic includes the understanding of facts compared to what one just thinks.  A big factor in arguments may involve one person blatantly thinking a certain way and another person providing facts to oppose the other's thought.  This is a logical approach in arguments.  Facts are the best support when it comes to an opinion, but those who are ignorant of facts, are the most hostile.  A common flaw is the tendency to think with pure opinion, just a “feeling” about a subject isn’t very logical.  Although, debates allow for emotions, they aren’t facts.  It's best to reason middle ground with these people as well as avoiding a straightforward argument.

     Middle ground is the best possible way to go about arguing or debating with someone.  It displays a sense of maturity and understanding when it comes to topics up for discussion.  It is stress relieving as it avoids the back and forth hostility put forth by both sides.  Using middle ground in your arguments, will always make you the bigger person in the argument.  An argument takes two people.  Another tip would be is to establish the fact from the beginning, that you want to find middle ground and not just attack each other in the process.

I am a 17 year old senior at Truman High school. I aspire to be an English major and pursue a career in writing and journalism. 

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