You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

John Morley

How many times have I wished that I had this pithy little quote on a card in my purse, ready to be handed to a belligerent blowhard, or an incessant evangelist, on a moment’s notice?

One of my First Principles is what I call “Diversity of Thought.” It is very important to me to engage in stimulating dialog and entertain differing opinions. I assume that other people’s positions are valid and am always curious as to the line of reasoning or emotional journey that has led them to embrace such opinions. When people challenge my ideas it only “sharpens the saw” as Stephen Covey would say.

But occasionally I meet the bloviator who seeks to make their point solely through volume and brute force. At these times I realize that “diversity of thought” is not an option and I retreat to silence. At these times I wish I had a small card in my purse with a pithy quote . . . 🙂

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