You can’t wake people up through argument…

Pema Chödrön’s lovely quote of the week:

practicingpeaceintimesofwarlrgI try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up, and self-righteous and closed-minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness. ~ Pema Chödrön from Practicing Peace in Times of War

Pema’s above quote made me think of a very short post from a bit over a year ago. I’ve cut and pasted it below:

Self-righteousness about any dearly held belief will disallow the communication process with anybody who does not share your belief…enjoy your private bubble.

Or another way of saying the same thing from War in Context:

…the definition of ideological myopia: the ideologue can’t see beyond his or her own convictions and so is singularly lacking when it comes to the art of persuasion.


While I’m at it, I’ll also share a string of tweets I retweeted yesterday as they, too, highlight a similar point beautifully:

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