How Not To Debate

The titans enter the arena, muscles twitching, nostrils flaring,

Chomping at the bit for a killing, just kidding, this ain’t no gladiatorial meeting,

One could be forgiven for the comparison, debates and discussions in a public space are quick to become warzones,

Daring to poke holes in one’s safe zone will elicit enough vitriol to melt the ozone,

Ever see folks from different strokes in a public setting, be it face to face or online, talking ‘bout any subject with extra spice, watch how quickly civility melts into catastrophe,

It’s shocking, really, how quickly Jekyll replaces Hyde at the flick of a switch,

Judging any and all outsiders, never budging an inch, before falling to pieces when they’re offered a challenge.

Picture this, two or more folks engaged in conversation,

Inevitably touch up on subjects contentious, explosions are imminent,

At first remaining dormant, participants dropping their respective pearls,

Can and should stay at this pace but often things will take a turn,

The heat turned up slightly, rebuttals galore,

Clap backs of the provocative type then brought to the fore,

Then it’s all-out war, healthy discussion replaced with shrieking and shouting,

Metaphorically exchanging haymakers like Ali and Frazier,

Pre-schoolers display more restraint and civility, adults can and should know better,

Personal attacks and phantom accusations, go-to strategies for petulant children,

Big guns brought out to score points, sob stories to tip the odds in their favor,

Is this still a healthy debate or another case of victimhood flexing?

Then they’re calling for the other to be silenced as their built-in Ministry of Truth is crumbling, not-so-subtle way of surrendering, talk about pathetic,

At the best of times can end in one of two ways; with both sides seeing eye-to-eye or agreeing to disagree,

But types like these? Not a chance, more often than not ending in a rage quit.

Not too long ago, in an average setting, people from all walks can come together,

Chop it up and exchange ideas, keeping it fair and professional,

Can end on good terms whether or not they find a common ground, nowadays you don’t see much of that around,

Often times becoming personally invested, enough to call for the opposition to be silenced,

Are they that big a threat to your very existence? Each individual’s entitled to their own opinion, who are you to harangue and control them?

And rebuttals of ‘fake news’, ‘bias’ and ‘prejudice’ in the face of their legitimate counter-arguments speak volumes of your ignorance,

Interactions with the others should be an exercise in expanding one’s views and horizons,

One needn’t leave the hill on which they’re dying but it would do ‘em a world of good to learn about and understand another’s visions,

It can strengthen one’s own convictions, in the process they become well-rounded,

Only they with real strength of character can take in additional information without ever feeling offended,

One’s stances influenced by what they see and hear anyway, all but overpowering the foundations on which they’d been raised, life’s ups and downs in conjunction with what they consuming being the building blocks of it,

Knowledge is power, though, the ones tasked with informing the masses misusing and manipulating, looking to misinform and divide as they toy with emotions,

Real ones check all facts first before jumping to conclusions, the gullible fall for it without questioning, while a narrow mind twists it to suit only where they’re invested,

Back to the combatants, why spill your personal history and so-called ways in which you’re hindered whenever you’re cornered, seek help for those 99 problems, playing victim ain’t no solid argument,

Can only lean on alibis and excuses for so long before the act wears thin, real strength and bucking the odds is what creates heroes and legends,

It was never about winning or losing, merely a means to learn off of one another,

It’s ironic in a way, on the surface seems a conflict but in reality teamwork comes into play.

Again, must reiterate, it won’t always play out this way,

There remains those that have a handle on their emotions, unlike the overgrown children,

But such is the world we’re in, running on emotions over reason,

They say variety’s the spice of life yet many are threatened by differing flavours,

What works for you might not for another, can’t make that proverbial horse drink the damn water,

Ain’t no real debate if your sole purpose is to force yours upon them, if your arguments are rooted in dogma long since hardened, time to overhaul your default setting,

Newsflash, Fool, trying to cajole, strong-arm, intimidate and shame ‘em into whatever cause for which you’re crusading will only turn ‘em off of what you’re endorsing,

Nothing good comes out of coercion, you’re no better than a megalomaniac dictator lording over their citizens,

It’s a discussion and not a scuffle, no need to get aggressive and personal,

Then you call for the other to be censored? Take a trip back in time, how do such actions benefit a given population?

Drop your two cents and let them do the same, that’s the name of the game,

No one really loses when you both walk away enlightened, it was never really a competition,

Keep that in mind next time you join the fray, there’s a right and wrong way,

More to the point, leave ‘em alone if you don’t fuck with them, no need to light fires where they’re not needed.

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