During our trip to China we visited a Buddhist Monastery in Lhasa Tibet. It has 600 monks! We attended their weekly debate. It took place in their courtyard. Most of the monks were seated on mats under the shade of beautiful trees. One of them presented a topic to 2 elders who sat in honored places and were clearly well regarded.
The presenting monk quoted a variety of Buddhist masters on the subject. Then, using interesting hand gestures, he asked the elders for their opinion. In response, the elders quoted other masters, which weren’t mentioned by the presenter. This method of debating helps younger monks grow in knowledge and deepens the insights of the elders.
How unlike our political debates! The monks have no desire to put each other down nor to win or lose. They simply want to better understand an issue and grow in wisdom.
Makes me think about some conversations which become debates and then turn into arguments. Arguments which I want to win!! Does that happen to you? Why does that happen? Why is winning and losing so important to us?