I'm filling out an application and I have to answer the question:
Describe a recent time you resolved a disagreement with your parents, authority figures, or friends. What did you do? What did you learn?
And I responded with this:
The movie Rocketman, a biopic of the life of Elton John, was a recent source of disagreement between my mother and I. My mother, seeing the contents of the movie, thought it wasn’t appropriate for me to watch. The graphic depictions of drugs and sex in the movie concerned her, as she thought they might send the wrong messages. It seemed to her like the movie was of questionable value, and there were better movies to watch.
I was frustrated with her response, because I saw a lot of value in the film. However, I recognized her good intentions. She was trying to protect me from something she feared would be harmful, and I appreciated that desire. So I addressed her concerns thoroughly and explained my perspective in a calm, respectful manner.
I explained how I found Elton John’s story inspiring because of his struggle to deal with homophobia, drug addiction, and unloving parents. Watching Rocketman would teach me powerful lessons about courage, strength, and vulnerability. I also reassured her that I was mature enough to sift through the ideas in the film and sort the bad from the good. I know about the dangers of drugs and sex, and I made it clear she did not have to worry about me engaging in any harmful activities.
My mother eventually acquiesced and allowed me to watch the movie. This conversation could have turned into an argument that strained our relationship, but instead I was able to avoid conflict. By taking the time to respectfully and thoroughly explain my perspective, without negating my mother’s, I was able to convince her of the validity of my opinion. Through this instance I learned communication is possible among people who disagree, as long as you respectfully try to bridge the gaps between your differing perspectives.