There we have it. The UK voted to leave the European Union. Just over half the country will be delighted, and just under the other half devastated.
The ferocity of the campaign on all sides caught people off guard. Instead of bitter slanging matches being reserved for online strangers, we’ve seen bust-ups in pubs, in offices, and between friends and families.
We’re great at shouting. But we’re not very good at arguing. We lack the skills to simply discuss, and seem incapable of deliberating calmly.
Our elected leaders heckle each other in parliament like schoolchildren. Debate is rarely taught as a standalone subject in our schools.
And we’re raised to believe talking politics, religion, or money is bad manners. Something is amiss.
Anyone who’s been in a platonic, sexual, or familial relationship knows there are good arguments and there are bad arguments.
Good ones make you reconsider, they clear the air, they often end in a joke, or a passionate make up.
In short, they bring you together. Bad arguments drive you further apart. They leave both sides bewildered, hurting, and alone.
Too many bad arguments and a relationship fails. Right now we’re floundering.
In the social media age we’re encouraged to state what’s on our mind, to post our opinions, to shout our slogans, and to rant and rave into the void.
But maybe it’s time we all shut up and listened. No accusations. No division. No name calling.
Listen, and take on board what others are saying. Build a plan together. Negotiate. Give. Grow. Receive. It’s time for a good argument. It’s time to come together.
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