As election day approaches, I found this tidbit from The Grasshopper from moons ago that seems just as relevant today.
“End The Debate Before Your Life Ends.”
The debate you’re involved in will still go on long after you’re no longer involved, in fact, forever.
Debates are never won, just endured.
Somewhere along the way, I found that debating is just another way to stay stuck. It’s just us arguing to be right and as The Grasshopper reminded us years ago: “Some people would rather be right than happy. And preferring to be right, they are left out.”
It seems we are left out of life more often when we are involved in debate. When you boil it down, we are debating the way it “should” be according to our conditioned beliefs, our bible. We don’t enter a debate to learn anything new, only to defend something old.
Reminds me of a story . . . Some years ago, a family member that I don’t see that often attempted to engage me in a political debate. I, like you, had a point of view and so did he. He began by making assertions about a candidate I casually mentioned that I liked. I felt the hooks of debate sinking in and had watched enough of the TV talk shows to issue a litany of talking points that would have countered what he just said. Thankfully, I got the gift of awareness that I was about to engage in a debate that was going to go nowhere and said this: “You know, I could go down to any local bar and have this discussion with any stranger in there. What do you say, instead, that you tell me something new going on with you? I’d much rather hear about that.”
We had the most pleasant conversation and you could feel the life in each of us flowing back and forth, rather than it shutting down to defend the castle.
Avoiding the hooks begins with noticing. When you notice that you are about to enter a circular debate, that’s the time to throw in the clutch and wonder what else you could do or say. It gives you the opportunity to save the day rather that looking for another dragon to slay.
Arguing is life draining and, for many, it’s a way of life. My sense is that we argue to let people know we exist. It’s as though we are saying, “Notice me! I’m more than a bag of bones covered in skin.” I submit there are more life enhancing ways to get noticed than arguing.
Let your point of view be judged by your actions rather than your words. Put your life force into advancing your cause, not debating its merits. I’m only guessing here but I’ll bet Mother Teresa never defended her work; she just did it. I’m sure someone along the way said, “Why go into diseased villages and risk your health for people who are probably going to die anyway?” I also think it’s a good guess that she didn’t stop and argue her position. She was too busy living her life and conducting her life’s mission.
Debate is death by another name. My suggestion: If you want to do more living, engage in debate less often.
All the best,
Be Sociable, Share!