Every conversation commences on a cordial note. Cups of tea are sipped at and snacks make their luring appearance on the table. In the olden days, there were tobacco and puffs of smoke. The discussion went round themes of universal interest. We have read of the famous coffee clubs of the days of Addison and Steele and of the famous French Coffee Clubs. But, times of sophistication have changed, yielding place to ill-will and disharmony. The discussion-groups do not keep calm and cool any longer. Small talk does not ever remain small and they have all the characteristics of warfare. There are verbal attacks and retorts. All the social etiquette is ignored at the point and that which has begun as a harmless socialization takes an ugly, undesirable turn. The topics chosen for a debate may range from the acting talent of a popular cinema actor to the political credibility of a contemporary political person. Debaters divide themselves into two groups positioned on each side of the battle field.

Sometimes a question springs up whether there is a need for a general understanding on all issues of social concern. Different sets of people may have different opinions and they can co-exist sticking to their guns. Should every man come round to our opinion? On the other hand, we can't hold opinions on all issues and there are many matters which do not interest us. A countless number of issues flare up and we also know that a thought can not be bestowed on all. If we are too opinionated, we may even look ridiculous also to others. We undertake speaking as an important activity but listening should hold a more important place among our skills.

Heated debates and exchanges do take place in parliaments and other legislative bodies. Sitting in the corner of a shop, or, an office, we don't need produce the same heat in a debating activity taken up to while away time. The social life should roll on smoothly without much ado. The railway compartments and platforms are not the right forum for a political wrangling which ultimately does not have any utility. Debates are undertaken in schools and colleges in the process of imparting soft skills to the students. They should also make it a habit to remain composed even under extreme provocation, remaining unruffled. They should learn to respect the other's opinions and they should also learn to change their opinions where there is a need.

In many matters, we follow the principle of moderation, or, at least, we are inclined to do so. We should execute the same moderation in airing our opinions also. There is already some pollution in the air and let us not endanger the environment any more.

About Author / Additional Info:
The Author works as a Guest Lecturer in English at Colleges and offers career-counselling at shiksha.com as a Chief Adviser.