Can You Be Persuaded?

“To be persuasive we must be believable;
to be believable we must be creditable;
to be credible we must be truthful.”

Edward R. Murrow

Honest debate is something of a lost art. Especially since Al Gore invented the Internet.

There is a debate between the two candidates for Virginia Governor tonight. I don’t plan to watch. Tomorrow each campaign will be telling us why their candidate won. And soon we’ll see sound clips in new attack commercials.

To be honest, I’ve never been that great at debate. Sure I got an A in debate class, but that didn’t necessarily involve my skill levels and it’s not a story I’m telling here.

I do have a background in arguing on the Internet. But I never persuaded someone to change their mind.

I’m not doing that any more, but lots of friends on the left and right do it every day.

It’s not about having an honest discussion. It’s about who can score the most points or launch the best zingers.

And that’s a shame.

I could list any number of recent events and tell you how my friends would respond, even before I read what they’ve written.

I don’t know how we do it, but we have to get to the point where we’re willing to consider another point of view.

We can’t expect our “leaders” to do it

And it’s not going to happen overnight.

But maybe, just maybe, if each of us could commit to not posting that meme, or not sharing that Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow clip, just maybe we could start having conversations again.

You might see it differently. And that’s okay.

Even if you are wrong.

Risky Business

All forward motion involves risk.

Seth Godin

Over the last forty-seven years of our house arrest, we’ve continuously heard, and likely used, the phrase “be safe.”

Who amongst us knew that the first eighteen months of 15 days to slow the spread are always the hardest?

All the preaching and scaremongering aside, if we’re ever going to return to anything that even looks like normal, we’re going to have to take some risks.

No, don’t do foolish things.

No, don’t be careless.

But at some point we’re going to have to stop living in fear. COVID or its many variants are here to stay. We have to learn how to live with them.

I wasn’t going down that road with this post, but there you have it.

It’s true that anything in life that is worth attaining will likely carry some risk.

Our job is to step out, move forward, and take some changes.

It’s not just about the virus.

That project you’ve been putting off.

That book you’ve been planning to write.

That new job or career you’ve been dreaming about.

Don’t stay in your safe zone.

Be willing to take some risks.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.