My biggest lesson of 2007 was that you cannot change a pig headed / closed minded / self righteous person who always feels superior….so don’t even try. Instead, just smile and say nothing or nod as if you think they are smart (even though you think them to be an ignorant fool). It does nothing but raise your blood pressure to debate arrogant ignorance.
I had an incident this year that clearly pointed out to me that too many people run their life based on their inner emotional feelings and group-think. They view other by teams..Us vs. Them. It became clear that people like this do not want an honest open discussion where both sides walk away having learned something, but rather want to "school" everyone who disagrees with them. They do not want to hear a conflicting point of view, and dig in when they do. They see those who are not in line with them as just plain wrong. These folks run in packs, so you will always be out numbered.
This was a hard lesson to learn. My parents taught me that I will always have opinions, thoughts and ideas, but that I must remember that I will not be right 100% of the time (nobody is always right!)....and that talking with others is always a great way to learn and grow. Because of this I love debate. I really enjoy talking with people who are open minded and well educated on a topic. But with most people you do not end up with a healthy discussion, you instead get name calling, finger pointing, Utopian wishing, and emotional wheezing.
So I just shut up.
Finding people to talk about the issues of the day without them having to be right at all cost is rare. Yet no conversation with a self-righteous person will ever end well. I now just avoid such conversations, as these people do not respect me...and why would anyone want to engage in conversations with someone who is not respectful?
The funny thing is that these people never know (because they don't care to listen) that I am open to hearing their point of view. I long to see how they came to such conclusions, as it makes me look inside myself. I was sad when I discovered that so few others want to do the same. It took me to be 41-years-old to realize this (apparently I am slow).
I try to teach my kids that they will not always agree with others, but they should try to act respectfully and civil towards other people's political, religious and philosophical ideas. (Yes, there are exceptions: racism, hate speech and illegal issues should never be tolerated). Obviously not all parents teach this lesson to their kids. That is a shame.
Have A Great Day.