Saturday, March 26, 2016

Stay Positive!

Right after I had clicked the publish button on last week's blog post the idea for this one fell into my lap. I almost wish I could go back in time and post this one first, but time has a funny way of not letting me do that. Time is a jerk, but I'll save that for another blog post. Today I want to talk about something that is very important. It really baffles me how so many people can fail to grasp this one simple concept. I want to impress upon you (with a metal branding iron if need be) the importance of staying positive and not being a jerk.

Arguments and Debate

All too often I see people trying to promote important issues by attacking someone who does not feel the same way or promotes something different that they feel is harmful to their cause. No one is going to listen to you if you come in with arms windmilling screaming "DULCINEA" at them. Hurling insults at someone, even if they are deserving of the insults, will only make you look bad. People from a distance can't tell who is who and are more inclined to side with the person who doesn't look like they have rabies. So chill homie. Be the voice of reason not the voice of hate.

If you want people to listen to you then you have to present your argument in a positive way. Attacking someone for ruining what you feel is important is not a way to win them over to your side. Think about it. If I came up to you, spit in your face, and then screamed at you that Godzilla would maul Raiden in Mortal Kombat, would you agree with me? Would you even bother arguing the point? Yet this is how I see people approaching each other on the internet. Instead if I were to say that I like Raiden too, but Godzilla's hide is too thick for Raiden to punch through thus rendering many of his attacks ineffective. Now we have a debate. You would be much more likely to engage. Especially if Raiden is your favorite Mortal Kombat character.

Some people are not open minded. They will not change their mind no matter what you say. Some will disagree with you just because of their biases and hate. You could say the sky is blue with some of these people and they will disagree just because. Some are not mentally equipped to argue with you and will not change their mind no matter how completely you destroy their arguments. Don't engage with these people. Deep down they are already in a hell you will never understand. Do not let them drag you down to their level. You will not find any candy or flowers or rainbows there. That is where hate and despair live. Anger and sadness is all that you will find there.

Listen

The first step is to listen. Listening does not mean just waiting for your turn to speak. Take the time to try to understand other people. If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes then you can't completely understand them, but still we must try. If what they say is not true then you can point them in the right direction. It is up to them to take that information and do what they want with it. It is not up to you to forge a hammer named "Truth" and smash it into their nose over and over.

Listening to what people are really saying is how you can relate to their message. Talking and communicating effectively comes down to understanding why they are presenting the message that they are presenting. Getting to the root of things and figuring out how to move forward. If you disagree with what they say, a deeper understanding of the logic behind the argument can give you insight on why. Ask yourself, is it a personal bias on my end? Do I have a better solution? Is there a flaw in their argument? Take the time to form an intelligent and well thought out statement relating to what they are saying. Move the conversation forward.

Do not change the subject unless that conversation is basically over. I see a lot of people who feel they are "losing" an argument, so they change the subject. It's not about winning or losing. It is about learning. Don't be afraid to be wrong. We all are at some point in our lives. It's OK. This is how we learn and improve. No one is perfect, but the pursuit of perfection is a noble one. One that I strive for every day even though I know it is futile. The only way to move forward is to seek out new ideas and engage those who do not agree with you.

Don't Be A Jerkface

A jerkface is someone that spews a hateful message without thinking of the consequences of that message. A jerkface is incapable of admitting that they made a mistake. A jerkface will hurl insults as if they are valid arguments. A jerkface doesn't care if they are harming others by what they do or say. A jerkface will try to use their power to hurt others because they can. The willfully ignorant, hateful, and spiteful messages that are being broadcast around the world need to stop. They impede progress and divide us all. Don't separate and reject, instead we should accept and include people.

We are all human beings here. I want to hug you all. Unless you are stinky. In that case I want you to take a bath and then I want to hug you. If you are reading this and not a human being please stop trying to use radio waves to hack my brain *puts on tin foil hat*. Just because someone is different does not make them any better or worse of a person than you are. Unless they are an undead zombie. In that case I suggest aiming for the head.

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