How far should we go to defend our views and opnion of something that matters to us? How much balance between apathy and force should any of us have as we stand up for the principles that we put down for others to see? Is passion necessarily the single most important thing any of us should have when stating a point?
Or is it the most dangerous?
I’m saying this now because I’ve been playing around this minefield for too long in my life. You know…you start of in school being a debator and after you taste blood, it just doesn’t seem to stop right there. You spend years in forums trying to foolishly establish the fact that while you’re young, you shamelessly have the advantage of a well-read well-experienced childhood and being insecure as you are, you’d do whatever it takes to keep that reputation.
Then you move on from that…to blogging.
There is a point somewhere in there so bear with me.
Over the years I have learnt that being well informed more than the masses for most of the time has it’s price to pay. People begin to rely on your own views and opinions and there will be a time when you begin to think of yourself as the sole provider of what you do best.
Think of it as information-elitism.
It is when cross the line to defend what we believe is right that everything falls apart.
But where is that line anyway?
Well…I would think name-calling is a pretty obvious sign that the line’s been crossed. It has happened to me on so many occassions from people who call themselves passionate about defending their principles which they deen important. But little things like name calling and finger pointing are just smoke screens for the where the line is really crossed.
Because the moment you allow yourself to be emotional about it.
You’re pretty much screwed either way.
Not to say we should be completely monotonous in telling people we have a point. Being a former debator and a person who has trained debators, I would know it’s good to show that little fire when presenting the audience and judges with your case. But that’s a trained speach. The real self control is when you have to defend yourself against countless counter-arguments which may even be really rude.
Oh how the mighty can fall should they lose their cool.
And fall hard they can.
And it is easy to lose your cool when you already start to believe that your opinions do matter enough to be important. It’s easy to lose focus on the point you started out with when you feel your own self-worth being threatened by people you consider yourself high above.
It’s easy to mess up your credibility in the cause for the self defense of your own sense of judgement.
It’s easy to say one shouldn’t care about attacks on your principles, but I have never seen anyone walk away from such a thing either. Everyone with something to say always falls into the trap where they have to spend more time defending themselves rather than making the difference they wanted.
But let this serve as a warning.
To be aware that such things that build up our own pride becomes a trap in itself for our own downfall. To never place yourself in a position where you place your principles as a focal point for right and wrong. To never consider yourself the last word in something you know more than others.
Self-righteousness is our own self-destruction.
That’s a lesson well worth learning without bearing the scars of your mistakes.