posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 11:52 PM
Now for a more personal and honest answer to this questions, sans jokes and banter...
The most important thing that ATS has taught me is patience and an understanding that it's OK to disagree with others. Before I found ATS I was the
kind of guy who would end up in handcuffs because the guy two seats over from me, in the bar, thought that my opinion was bollocks. I had to speeds -
"I am right" and "I will hit you until you agree that I am right".
Not a very pleasant or healthy way to live.
Then I came to ATS where I couldn't punch the people I perceived as "wrong". I also learned that punching the monitor, keyboard, nor mouse had the
desired effect either. In a haze of deep angst and frustration I had to learn to debate. Let's just say I was more concerned with females during
those formative years when debate classes were an elective in High School. So I was late to the party. By decades.
My first few attempts at "polite debate" got replaced by those "post removed by mod" graphics everyone is so fond of. I happened to like this
place, so I forced myself to tone it down and to learn that "Uncle Dad and Aunt Mom would be so proud of you" didn't qualify as civil discourse.
Then something odd happened. I discovered that I was actually a natural at debate. I was good at it. I did not have to resort to pounding heads on
bartops, nor to insults. I could honestly make my point, in a convincing manner, simply by saying what I thought.
From that an entire series of doors opened up. I learned to be empathetic to the views of others - as I began to realize that they held their own
personal views as holy and deeply as I hold mine. I began to realize that there is more than one side to every story and that neither is fully right
As far as subject matter goes? I've learned a LOT from ATS. Either directly from reading the site or from Googling to fact check things others say (
I always fact check before I enter into a fray ). But education is not the most profound thing I have taken away from this wonderful website. My
epiphany here is that I found a voice I never knew I had.