Walt Whitman had great insight into the world but he saw it uniquely. The world was different viewed through his eyes than viewed through those of his contemporaries. Many of his quotes speak to me. Being in Human Resources I often have a different view as well. When people disagree with me, I like to hear their side of the story as only they can tell it. I've found I can learn from others' perspectives. But isn't it difficult to be in disagreement? I don't like conflict. You probably don't like conflict either. I don't know many people who do. Yet it seems to be an integral part of life. Walt Whitman saw conflict differently and I learned from him. So what did Walt say that had such an impact on me you ask? Wisely, I'll refrain from paraphrasing and just quote Walt; "Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you and were tender with you and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you and disputed passage with you?"
Oh that I could think such deep thoughts and give birth to such sage sayings! Alas, I'm not Walt. But I can learn from him. He knew being in conflict strengthened us and sharpened our minds, increased our skills. Those who disagree with us, antagonize us, keep us up nights actually help us to grow. The next time someone challenges you, disagrees with you, makes you defend a position... just think like Walt!