#atozchallenge: Huh?

I really don’t get why an aggressive response when someone just says something to you is considered appropriate behavior. To me, it seems much easier to both be polite and simply talk. What purpose does it serve to immediately start growling and baring your teeth? Actually, as I think about it, I do get it a bit now. It is the fight or flight response. When an animal encounters something new, that is somehow threatening, it will even display aggressive behavior or just flee. And even those that flee will get aggressive if they have no avenue for escape.

So as far as I can tell, a person who automatically responds to a simple sentence or idea aggressively actually FEARS the idea. They somehow feel threatened by it, but don’t want to seem like cowards so instead of fleeing they get their hackles up and growl. Which is liable to get the same response in return.

Isn’t this how wars start?

Is it really so hard to respectfully answer someone, even if you disagree with what they say? I don’t care how passionate you may be about a subject, is it really necessary to call a person names and insult them simply because you don’t like their message? I see it happening so many times in life, and all I can say is, “Why?”

I wrote something about this yesterday on my “Save the World” blog. The answer is basically the same. Aggressive behavior; the immediate desire to defend and protect even when there is no actual threat, is something we are taught. Taught by our parents; taught by our schools; taught by our very society. It is really quite disturbing! What is it about ideas that are so scary? What is it about stating an opinion that is so threatening. I am a fairly smart guy, and usually good at understanding things. But this particular question really stumps me. Every time I encounter it I have the same basic response.