I used to think that if I wanted people to listen to me, I had to listen to them. I mean, I’m a fair minded individual and willing to listen to opposing viewpoints, right? Why not give them an honest listen and then state my side? That seems right.

Except it isn’t.

See, when I back a cause, I try to really reason out why I’m backing it. Because something is wrong or right isn’t enough. For example, it isn’t enough to say bullying is wrong. I need to know why it’s wrong and the kind of damage it does. I try to really see the argument from all angles before I get on the bandwagon. Far too many people do that already and when the cause passes, the so-called supporters are on to the next new cause.

So I’m a bit naïve when it comes to debating. I expect that everyone has done the same kind of reasoning and research I have. I get passionate about causes I believe in but that’s because I’ve taken the time to get deeply entrenched in them. Imagine my surprise when I learned not everyone does that.

I keep forgetting that most often people have knee jerk reactions to an issue and argue that instead of using logic. For example, the Confederate Flag. I hear a lot of people arguing that it’s a symbol of their heritage. They yell and rant a lot about their culture being wiped out. They forget that history is based on slavery. It takes only a moment to Google the history of the Confederate Flag but most won’t bother. Their knee jerk reaction prevents them from opening their minds to see logic. It’s an argument born of unreasoned emotion and, therefore, can’t be argued.

Therefore, I’m no longer interested in listening to others. The more I listen, the less I get heard. From now on I will give my voice to those causes that I believe in because I know they’re right. I will join my voice with others who also have come to support these causes through logic and rational thought. However, I will not argue.

As soon as someone starts to argue, their cause is lost. Arguing is born of righteous indignation or anger or even hate. It is not the recourse of the reasonable. I will not listen to those who believe that emotion will shout down reason.

You may not think this is fair. I don’t care. I’m not about being fair. I’m about creating change and if there is something that stands in the way then it needs to go.

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