Agree To Disagree

Did you watch yesterday’s Rose Bowl Parade? I did. I felt so badly for everyone there since a large two-part float broke down and blocked the way for other floats. Watching the Rose Bowl Parade is a tradition for me, my brother, and his wife. If we’re together, we talk about the floats and the amazing creativity of the designers. We enjoy talking about their choices of unique flowers and seeds to create their designs. We often talk about the float themes, too.

Since the three of us have many years of marching band experience, we also enjoy the marching bands and will sometimes comment on their sound, song selection, marching ability, and even their uniforms. We don’t ignore the horses and other parade units.

Although I grew up watching the parade at my grandparents’ home with my cousins, their parents, my brother, and our parents, the parade took on more significance after two cousins and I marched in it. I was a junior, as was one cousin. The other was a year younger. Our moms were both chaperones. The experience was a definite highlight of my youth and, since then, has made watching the parade a rich joy. (It was the first time most of us had flown and seen the ocean.)

My nieces and nephew and their spouses aren’t parade watchers. It’s okay. Their parents and I can like the parade. They don’t need to. We agree on plenty of other things that are more important.

I wish more people would agree to disagree. It’s not impossible. There are many times when we can choose to let things be. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Then persuasion is appropriate. Agreeing is sometimes ideal or even essential within families.

Respect is the key. It wouldn’t be appropriate for my nephew and nieces to laugh at their parents and me for enjoying the parade. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to yell at them because they don’t.

This year, I hope more people will agree to disagree when it’s okay to do so and persuade while respecting people when it’s necessary.

What do you think? Are there times when you could be better at disagreeing? Better at  persuading with respect? What about your children? Is there anything to talk about?