We can usually learn much more from people whose views we share than from people whose views contradict our own; disagreement can cause stress and inhibit learning.
From people whose views we share we get confidence, encouragement, and psychological satisfaction; from people whose views contradict our own we get new angles, fresh perspectives, and pertinent advices. But excessive agreements would lead us to the morass of self-complacence; and extreme contradictions would weaken our determination of learning. Thus we should fully recognize the potential danger of limiting our vision in one of the two sides. And only through the approach of paying equal attention to both sides could we make further achievements in the process of learning.
Views and ideas from people agree with us may raise our confidence, strengthen our courage, and enhance our psychological satisfaction. According to common sense and our everyday experience, the propensity to accept the ideas from people who agree with us rather than the opinions from people disagree with us associates strongly with the nature of human beings, for we are social animals and it is the inner instinct of us to seek for approval of others. Imagine, what would you react if the work accomplished by your arduous efforts receives fierce criticism or not even a glance? You would lose your strength to march in the long road of learning. On the contrary, agreements may cause the feeling of being accepted and consented, thus we gain the psychological satisfaction which will impulse us to learn more. Moreover, customarily, we tend to imitate and share ideas and behaviors from our parents, friends, classmates and so forth, who are in the same group of ours. By this way we form knowledge of our own.
Not under all circumstances we can learn from people whose views we share. Only base on the premises that all the views of our assenters are authentic and sincere, however, could we learn useful knowledge from them. On condition that people consent and even flatter us for certain purposes which have nothing to do with learning, our learning would be hindered instead of motivated. We would be possessed in the illusive pride and limited in a narrow bound of vision. Consequently, we can see that the speaker’s assertion is incomplete and oversimplified. Contradicting views and ideas could aware us of the mistakes and flaws in our work which we can not discover by ourselves, bring us fresh angles and perspectives, and then make our work mature and complete. Thereby through the discussion and competition both we and the people disagree with us could make advancements in our learning. Debate on the same subject make it possible for human beings to make most of the achievements and advances on fields of science, technology, philosophy and the like. If we see only on the one side of the coin, we could get only a partial and distorted knowledge and view which might mislead our learning.
Also, contradiction may cause negative effects under certain conditions, especially when the debate becomes irrational denouncement or personal attack. Then our confidence would be impaired by the criticisms and our learning inhibited by the stress excessive contradictions brings us. Disagreements would be detrimental rather than beneficial to our learning under this circumstance. Bias on each of the two sides is detrimental to our learning for that agreements and disagreements form a organic entity which can not be absolutely divided. Over reliance on one side is blind and unwise. Agreements base on no evidence are actually flatters; disagreements without rational reasons are reprimands. We would be enmeshed in the web of self-contention sewed by ourselves and could not go ahead if we and blinded by the flatters; we would be frozen in the chilly night of darkness created by reprimands and became helpless and hopeless. We must pay equal attentions on both sides to see the whole picture.
To sum up, ideas of people whose views we share and people whose views contradict our own play their respective role in our learning, and none of them should be neglected. Therefore, balance between both sides is needed. And only through this way could we achieve the further goal in our process of learning.