Had a fruitful time with Patrick today with him sharing about Christianity and the arts. Some things that I found beneficial were the understanding of grey areas as well as being a light in the darkness. I still need to wrap my head about some matters though.
One of the things he mentioned was that we can stand for our convictions, but we don't have to be an ass about it. If we come across as judgmental or too pent up, we simply become a billboard to others telling them that Christianity is not for them. It reminds me of the Jesus who ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes, and were evidently comfortable around them as they were comfortable around him.
At the same time though, I'm wondering about what that means for us individuals making a stand against LGBT rights. It's a matter that I never fully resolved for a long time and am not particularly sure how to go about with it.
Related to that thing about convictions, something I have been thinking about recently and was reinforced today was about winning opinion battles. As someone who has strong opinions on things, I have a tendency to continue arguing when I feel like the other person's opinion doesn't make sense. I'm actually okay with agreeing to disagree when the other party is able to defend their opinion reasonably. Many a times though, I carry on arguing not so much because I feel so strongly about the issue but because I dislike what I perceive to be illogical arguments coming from the other party. I start to feel like I need to get people to use their brains a little and think about it, and perhaps when people actually sit down and think about it they will get my point of view and agree.
Thing is, not everyone does that. Not everyone wants to expend their brain cells on what they may perceive to be minor things, especially when they have other things on their minds. And sometimes, people do have reasons to stand for their opinion in their head, but they're just not very good at expressing it and then it becomes a matter of debating skills. Or to them it's simply not an important issue and so they just don't want to get into an argument about it.
For me, I still personally believe that people should be able to defend their opinions (an article that well articulates my view can be found here). However, this is not what the average person in society believes. Knowing this, and knowing that it is difficult to change this, how should I instead approach such things? How do I come across when I continue to pursue arguments that people have little interest in, despite good intentions?
And so I suppose I need to learn to keep myself in check and ask myself, are these battles worth fighting for? If someone holds an illogical perspective that at the end of the day isn't really all that important, I don't have to jump in and correct it just because I think it's illogical. It's just not worth the relationship. It also helps myself to be taken more seriously when I actually do have an opinion to stand for on an issue that is actually important.
It certainly doesn't help that sometimes, my opinions are indeed wrong. And people see that and think, this guy just likes to argue, he's not even usually right. To me, it's not about being right in the first place but about being rational. But that's not how it is perceived I guess.
So rationally, here's what I think. There's really no sense in winning small battles and on a whole losing the war. So it's a habit I'll have to learn to change.
On other news, studying is pretty stressful. 4 papers in 7 days, some of which I havn't even started. It's quite scary and in part because of how overwhelming it is, I seem to still try to procrastinate. The next few days will really be the do or die time.
That and majors are making a really good distraction. When you want to procrastinate and you have such a good source of procrastination...yea. Good thing today is the grand finals. Gotta focus the next few days, hope it goes well.