Why being called naive is the ultimate insult.
WARNING: this is a thought piece and the opinions within this article may not reflect the opinions of Mirage as a whole. They may contain triggering content and you’ve been warned. Disagree? Write a well thought out response to this without insulting the other author, remembering to be positive with a potential outcome that makes the world better and email it to: email@example.com
I need to begin by acknowledging that the person in question that threw this at me subsequently apologised and I'll accept that it came as part of a somewhat trying day for them and probably a few alcoholic beverages.
Pulled into a debate I didn't much care for to begin with I was then insulted by multiple people online, on probably the worst platform for this kind of discussion, Twitter no-less where limited characters force people to summarise their thoughts into bite-size chunks and probably drop much of the context that would have provided value and common ground.
How were any of them to know that at the very same moment I was going through my mental torment. How does anyone really know?
Thus this phrase of my naivety plagued upon me for the rest of this week. My thoughts were rotting with the simple idea that because I didn't agree with them that I must lack the appropriate wisdom to agree with them.
Jordan Peterson is a pretty well-known author, psychologist and psychology professor, most notably people are often very critical of some of his ideas, and I'm not about to debate them, but a chapter in his book '12 Rules for Life' talks about assuming that any person you speak with knows something you don't. Listen to the argument of anyone, really listen not just wait for your time to talk, because understanding how they got to their position is important.
This idea might not seem so life changing to others, but for me it really shook my foundations, to really be open to all other people and their beliefs. That does not mean you must agree with them
This topic made me think of the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu, especially the quote “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." and that is it. An argument really is an intellectual fight.
In truth, I still feel pretty naive. As a person, I still feel like I lack the appropriate wisdom.
I'm less emotionally intelligent than I probably should be, my skin still thin to insults and I take every element of criticism to Mirage as a strike against me personally and often it is.
From one angle I can see my privilege, I can appreciate how much more full my glass is than others, but that doesn't mean that if I shift my angle my own personal perspective makes it seem less full. I am listening, but when I speak it doesn't feel like anyone else is.