This is my recipe for arguing with a fool…don’t. It has no reward at all.
Awhile back, before I really got into this blogging thing, I joined one of the many, many writing communities, and wrote a piece similar to Be True to Yourself or You’ll Become Constipated and posted it as my one and only contribution to that site. (Yes. I do this periodically and then quickly become bored with it). Now, the way that site is set up, other writers are invited to critique your work and offer constructive criticism in order to help you develop as a writer.
If you’ve read Be True then you know it is about my inability to physically altercate in a bar scene, and the
actual need to at least portray a sense of being a tough, biker chick, to keep random women from beating me up in order to win the affection and back seat of my husband and his motorcycle. The article was just a cutesy thing I wrote; I wasn’t trying to lay down some hard, deep wisdom on anybody. I soon forgot about my membership to the writing community, and I certainly never really expected anyone to actually read and critique the piece. Boy, was I wrong.
Yesterday. mainly because I was really bored, I went through my computer on-line history. I do this occasionally because I take Ambien CR at night, and I’m one total freak sometimes when I’m on it, and periodically I have to make sure I’m not sending mean emails to family members or web-noodling random hate sites. Evidently, my Ambien-ed out alter ego loves to debate, mainly politics, and I’ve done this a couple of times and have had no memory of it the next day. I’m happy to report that I’ve recently only been sleeping when on it…no stirring of the pots recently! And so, I came across that writing community website again, and thought I’d go see if anyone had actually read my piece.
There was quite a response to my piece. A couple of the writers liked it, and only corrected some of my grammar, which is actually helpful to me, as I’m always finding grammatical mistakes in my writing. (My grandmother would be sooooo appalled!) But the real interesting stuff was about the content. One person took big exceptions to me being married to a biker and being a Christian. According to her, you can’t be both. No surprise there…a shockingly common reaction. Another writer took exception to me going out to bars at all, and instead advised me to stay home and let my husband get this biker thing out of his system. Since it’s been in his system for over a decade, that would have been one really, really long wait, and it still wouldn’t be over yet. My guess is that this little phase is here to stay. Another woman basically called me a slut. Now, here is where I get confused. There is absolutely nothing sexual in my piece. How does this make me a slut?
The truly funny part about this though, is that this is a message board kind of thing and other writers could read what each person was saying, and there was a very long, very highly charged debate on whether I could be a Christian, a biker, a writer, and a slut all at the same time. I laughed and laughed through the whole thing. People take their own opinions too seriously sometimes. And all these barbs that were aimed at hurting my feelings, or making me angry, or even to draw out a reaction from me had all happened months ago without me even knowing about it. Toward the end of the montage, there were even comments on the fact that I wasn’t defending myself and my lifestyle, and therefore I must know that I was wrong, not a Christian, couldn’t be a writer, and was, in fact, a slut.
I didn’t answer. I thought about it, but then I thought, when you are trying to draw someone into a verbal fight, the only thing worse than being made a fool of is when the other side decides you’re such a big fool, you aren’t worth fighting with at all. Trust me, I’ve been on the embarrassing end of that stick, mainly when I’ve been drunk. So, I just left the site untouched, and chuckled at how infuriated the pot-stirrers would always feel every time they thought of the Somewhat Pure-living Christian Biker Chick Writer refused to defend herself against some pretty base, rude, foolish insults. The bible is pretty clear on this one —
“The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge; But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.” Proverbs 15:14
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise.” Proverbs 15:12
“He who conceals hatred has lying lips; and he who spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18
All of our own opinions are just that…opinions. There is no reward for verbally beating someone else into submission to our own ways of thinking. And if you are secure in who you are, then there is no need to sell yourself on the truth either. Some people just like the verbal jockeying that insulting someone else leads to, but I have no interest in trying to defend myself to a fool. What’s to be gained by that?
Respect from a fool = Nothing much worth having at all!