STOP IT!

StopIt

Are you a concerned American?  Do you believe November 2016 will be one of the most important elections of all time?  Do you see America is at a critical decision point where if we do not elect the right president or pass the right laws it could set us down a path we may never recover from?  Have you identified who the right candidate is?  Do you know what the right sides are of the most important issues?  Do you feel compelled to tell others what are the right ways to vote and why?  When someone shares an opposing view to yours do you fulfill your obligation to correct that poor misled fool as to what is the right path or who is the right candidate?

If you answered yes to these questions may I offer you some helpful advice?

Yes?

Great.  I want to encourage you to

STOP IT!

I know that may be a little direct and might be stepping on your toes right now, but remember I asked your permission to share some helpful advice before I gave it.  Now why do I suggest this course of action?

I know you are passionate and concerned.  You should be and so am I.  I do believe we are at a critical time in our nation’s history, but let me share a truth I learned you may not be considering when you are soliciting your views and beliefs to your friends, family, and even strangers you have some association with through social media.

Andy Andrews taught me a very simple truth in his book How Do You Kill 11 Million People,

In my experience I have not been successful in changing someone’s beliefs by arguing with them.  When you challenge something someone believes (even if they’re wrong) it often times causes them to dig their heels in and search for reasons to support their belief (even if it is not true) because they feel threatened.  Even if someone says they agree with you after you argue with them or challenge their beliefs they most likely do not.  It is probable they are just saying they agree because they do not want to be berated any more.  It is also possible you used to see lot of friends post opposing ideas on social media and now you do not see that as often.  It is also possible they have unfriended you or unfollowed you.

Unfollow

Please understand I am not trying to challenge your position on any issues.  I am going to assume for a minute you are the one person on the planet who is ALWAYS right about EVERYTHING (You must not be married).  My question for you is, “What are you ultimately trying to accomplish when you become vociferous with your opinions?”   Do you just want to show everyone how right you are?  Or do you actually want to effect positive change?  I recently read Raising Men by Eric Davis and he shared this simple concept,

We must evaluate our methods by the results they produce.  If our approach of arguing people over to our way of thinking is not getting the results we want we must consider another method.  It has been my experience that the vast majority of things people believe are simply because they have been conditioned to believe them.  I know this because I walked through it.  Up through my early 20’s I just adopted a lot of thoughts and views of family members and teachers.  I never really stopped to actually think about my thinking.  As I started to do so I began to realize many things I had been told by people who had influence over me did not make sense.  That set me down a path I am still headed down today of seeking truth.

DontBelieveEverythingYouThink

What if instead of taking an adversarial role with people you disagree with you sought to better understand them and find some common ground?  If your response to that suggestion is, “I have nothing in common with them.” I encourage you to consider if that is really true?  What if you transitioned from being offensive to attractive and others wanted to know more about who you are and why you believe what you believe?  The thing is if you are truly right about EVERYTHING all of the time you do not have to convince them of that.  You just have to encourage them to seek the truth like I began in my early 20’s.  The truth is true whether or not we believe it.  Anyone who truly seeks truth will find it eventually.  Truth and wisdom are available to all who seek them.  Now of course my closing questions/challenges to you are simply, “Are there any areas where you simply believe things because someone who has influence over you told you to?”  If so is it possible you are not 100% right all of the time about everything?

As a bonus enjoy this six minutes of priceless wisdom from the cover photo on how you can better do this.  Be sure to watch it to the very end:

Question: What is one thing you used to think or believe you later discovered was not correct?  Comment below with what it was and how you learned a different truth or perspective about something you were once so certain of.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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