Been thinking about this lately. Even when I point blank disagree with another person in a debate topic, I do spend the next few hours (sometimes days) after it trying to critically think about my points and other people’s points. I might give up the debate halfway because, of course, emotions are running high. I might make an ass out of myself in the heat of the moment, but I must not let that define who I am when I take the time to think on who I am and realize who I am holistically. I like to try to be better than that most days. There’s a lot to learn when you finally quiet the part of you that wants to always be right. I believe there are no dumb questions as long as the person asking the question wants to learn and be more informed. Even if they start out saying what I think is nonsense, going full ad hominem isn’t going to help anyone. Engaging in a polite and mature fashion, in my opinion, always guarantees a learning experience. Moreover, even when you might still think the other’s beliefs doesn’t hold up overall, even when the conversation is mature and polite, but you choosing to sit, listen and think rationally about the debate rather than relying on ad hominem attacks make for greater respect overall, and respect is a great lesson to be had every time.
There are certainly many times in my life where I failed to be mature about things, but as I grow older, I actively try even if I still fail and probably will continue to fail. That doesn’t mean I should give up trying to be a better person. It starts with you. You can’t control how other people are, but you can control yourself (unless you have illnesses, of which I encourage you to get treated for).