If I choose to engage in a debate with you*, take it as a compliment. I have already decided that I respect you enough to honestly consider your point of view. Sure, I disagree and even believe you are wrong. But I do not believe you are an idiot. Misguided, maybe. Or maybe I am.
You see, although I believe I have taken the best possible stance based on what I know to be true and the experiences I have had, I am always willing to increase the dataset I am working with. Provide enough information and/or a perspective I hadn’t considered, and you might even change my mind. It’s happened before. Even if you don’t, you will increase my understanding of your point of view provided we can have an actual conversation coming from a place of mutual respect.
I do not engage idiots. I have, and it only ends in frustration. It often descends into name calling and adds nothing to the overall discourse. I have no desire to add to the animosity and division in the world. I want to come away from debates enlightened, not angry. I think we’ve all spent too much time getting angry at the image we hold of various people, and too often we forget that it’s a person behind the beliefs they may hold.
I believe you are better than that. I believe you are capable of considering my point of view as well. I may not change your mind, and that’s okay. We can still be friends even if we disagree.
*I bet you think this post is about you, don’t you? Don’t you? Naw, you’re not vain. It might be. You aren’t alone. Please tell me you’re singing now.