Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Different Points of View

Right now I'm listening to a debate between a 16 yr. old American boy and a 17 yr. old Japanese boy. They are discussing whether killing in war is selfish. Now realize, I don't think there is going to be an easy answer to this. But the cool thing is that they are discussing a very deep subject from their own perspectives. One is Christian and the other Buddhist.

They are discussing the difference between killing and murder, regret and no regret, guilt and happiness. Holy Cow! This is one long and huge discussion. It amazes me to listen to cultural and philosophical ideas coming from these teens.

One thing that stands out to me is that neither is upset, forcing their opinion, or demanding the other to be convinced. They are just exchanging view points. The accents are different as I listen from the other room. They've gone from the question of why war is necessary to Genesis and how God intended the world to be.

One is explaining to the other now, how every action has an opposite reaction. In his opinion, this means that even though we are small, our individual actions are significant. This argument was supported with science! The other is agreeing that everything is connected and that the connection has an effect.

Think about it-these young men have found common ground through discussion.

I'm impressed with the diplomacy these young men are using to discuss a matter that cannot be resolved. There's an occasional chuckle, definition explained, and direct confrontation about ideas. But they are simple and matter-of-fact about it. There's no intense emotion even though the topic is intense.

I'm amazed at the level of maturity in explaining cultural, religious and personal beliefs. I'm honored to have these two under my care. I'm learning so much from them. And they are great friends merely learning to understand how the other thinks.


Now as a writer, it really drives home different character voices. I know this is going to show me how to make the people in my stories a little more dimensional. I think I need to practice character voices like these while I practice such great diplomacy in my own discussions.

PS Please feel free to visit me at my daily blog:
God Uses Broken Vessels


  1. I bet that was an interesting discussion to listen in on. The manner in which they handled it speaks volumes about their maturity, too.

  2. Very interesting topic to discuss. Good for the boys for being able to do it maturely.

    Do y'all have a lot of discussions about religion?

  3. They are very mature. To answer the question, yes, we have a LOT of religious discussion. Sometimes, okay, often for hours every day. I didn't know there was so much to discuss! You'd be amazed at how hard it is to describe little things you take for granted in your own culture. Try explaining the trinity to someone who has never heard of it. Try describing communion or baptism in simple terms. Again, you'll be amazed at what cultural understanding lends to comprehension.

  4. How cool! Is he here for a whole year? Or just the school year?


  5. Just the school year. When he goes back, it'll have been 7.5 months with us and 2 with others. We really enjoy him.

  6. Using life situations in books is the best way to use personal applications and make them come to life in whatever we read. It would be great to see this some day in a book.
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com