The Greatest Idea in the World

When struggling to write a paper defending one side of an issue for Government class in high school, my dad gave me some advice. He told me that the best debaters know how to argue both sides of the issue. It makes sense. Being able to foresee how the other person sees the issue, can help you in defending your side. I assume it’s a fundamental part of debate. But my school didn’t have debate club, or whatever.

Sometimes, I take the other side of an issue, even if it’s not the one I’d side with. And even if it’s not an issue at all. I do it just for the sake of uncovering the possible problems that may arise. I do it to bring up other points. I frequently wonder if that makes me a pessimist. I don’t think so, though sometimes I *am* pessimistic (just as often as optimistic).

I’d like to think of it mostly as realism. I think people, by nature, are disagreeable. Even if you have what could be considered the greatest idea in the world, someone will have a problem with it. Someone will think they have a better way to do it. Someone will think life was better before your idea was realized. Sometimes, these people will be right. Sometimes, these disagreeable people have the knowledge and capability to make your “greatest idea in the world” into something better.

This way of thinking (pessimistic, realistic, argumentative, whatever you want to call it) brings change. From Blu-Ray discs on our shelf to the mighty mouse on my desk, to the “new” Facebook open in a tab in my browser, to browser tabs. And to the cell phone you might be reading this post on. Everything around us exists because someone thought differently from everyone else around them.

And everything around you right now? Right now, someone’s thinking of a better way to do it.