On ‘winning’ arguments

There are moments in a conversation

When the flow of words is no longer an activity of mutual edification,

When the roles of speaker and listener are no longer revolving,

And the couch of conversation

Has become a podium of proclamation;

The conversation has become

A public speaking exercise

Where the one with the best presentation wins.

But is there really a winner?

Sure, if you ‘win’ the argument

You have displayed your mental and oratory prowess,

But you have also successfully reduced whoever you were speaking to

From a participant in a conversation

To a loser in the war against your ego.

In a moment of self-indulgence

You have decided that the sound of your own voice

And the dominance of your ideas

Is more meaningful than open dialogue.

So you may have gained a fleeting victory,

But you have also denied everyone involved

The simple joys of a good conversation.


There are no more meaningless wins

Than the ones that must be gained

At the expense of another.

Competition in its rightful place,

Is a beautiful thing

And can bring warring parties together,

But the desire to win

Can also flatten

The very people you simply need to connect with.


He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.

-Proverbs 18:1,2 (NASB)



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