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Sometimes, I find myself rehearsing conversations in my head, conversations in which I try to defend my point of view to a person who holds an opposing perspective.

But recently, I’ve been hearing a quiet voice in my mind urging me to stop the rehearsing. “Don’t waste your mental energy with such thoughts,” it says. “There will never be a reason to have such a conversation.”

Trying to argue another person out of their point of view is pointless. It never works. They only dig in deeper in defending what they believe.

When I grow impatient with someone who, from my perspective, refuses to face reality, I remember that changing one’s mind can be a frightening and painful experience. I think back on a time when something I’d held to be true my entire life suddenly no longer seemed true. Changing my mind turned my world upside down, leaving me feeling lost and disoriented. It took a while to find my footing in a new belief system.

In this era of bitter divisions in our country, it is my intention to avoid any pointless argument that leaves nothing but a cloud of anger in its aftermath. Instead, I want to find the thread of commonality that exists between myself and a person with an opposing viewpoint. Let me dance with that person on that fragile thread, no matter how difficult the feat might be.


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