June 28
When you let someone else
win an argument, often you
both end up winners.

Richard Carlson


Today's Meditation:

I've actually learned to do this much more often as I grow older.  It no longer matters to me whether or not my logic is stronger than someone else's, whether my perspective makes more sense than someone else's, whether my memory of a certain thing is more accurate than someone else's.  I've found that in most cases, arguments that I have are simply a waste of time; time spent in conflict that I could be spending having a pleasant conversation with someone I care for.

When we think in more of a big-picture sort of way, it's easy to see that five years from now--heck, even two hours from now--it's not going to matter one single bit who won this argument, if anyone.  But in allowing the other person to win it, without saying anything about doing so, I can give something intangible to that person, a feeling of accomplishment, even of worth.  And while I know that feelings of self-worth shouldn't be tied up in whether or not we win arguments, I also know that sometimes they are, and it's something that I can give very easily.

Of course, there are arguments in which we should give no quarter.  When someone is arguing that we should compromise our morals and principles, we should not give in.  When someone is arguing for intolerance or racism or hatred or ignorance, we're not doing anyone any good by giving in (though we're probably not doing much good when we argue, either; it's best just to back out of these).  But sometimes we can create a positive outcome by allowing someone to win an argument, and if it's wholly within our power to do so, then why not make two winners in the situation instead of trying to be the only one?

Questions to consider:

Why does it sometimes seem very important to us that we win arguments, whatever the cost may be?

How might we "both end up winners" if we let the other person win an argument? 

What purpose do arguments usually serve?  Is that a purpose that's truly important to us?

For further thought:

I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent.
People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often,
as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.

Dave Barry


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