I mentioned before that I’m a bit embarrassed by stuff that I used to publish.
But, being absolutely sure you know everything is a hallmark of one’s twenties. Always has been probably.
Only now you have the chance to broadcast your hard earned wisdom and absolute truths to the world. Which makes for some shameful reading once you hit your thirties.
I’ve had a very hard truth impressed upon me in recent years though. But it’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned, and now it’s a mantra:
Never get into an argument you’re not willing to lose.
And also this:
Don’t start a conversation when you’re not interested in learning.
Both are really just different ways of saying the same thing: let down your cognitive dissonance and be open to what the world has to offer you. Stop talking, start listening.
Every interaction I have with someone, or some pieces of information, is a chance to improve my world. It’s fantastic.
There has been some pain, like letting go of some things I once considered absolutes. But I learned it’s more comfortable to not be on a high horse all the time.
I embrace the things that make me question what I think is true. I read news articles and opinion pieces from multiple sources, not just those that will tell me what I think I believe. I seek out people that have a different viewpoint.
Sometimes I walk away with my preconceived notions intact. Other times I don’t. But I’m better for the interaction.
The end result is casting aside things I realize have no actual value. Like telling people on the internet that they’re morons.
Also, huge side benefit: listening to people is a much better way to make friends than talking to people.
(Cat image courtesy of Tom Taker)