Confidence and Conflict

laphos gentle persuasion

Once upon a time, when I found out someone contradicted themselves, I got really really mad. I’d get mad, and I’d stay mad as long as the contradiction existed. Which it always did. And when it didn’t, it was obviously a PR apology, so the original contradiction would be replaced by another more unclear sort.

Somewhere along the way it occurred to me to pay attention to what the givens actually were. Person said statement A, given. Person said statement Not-A, given. Statement A and statement Not-A have a resolution — given. Person is good and honest — not given. Media interviewed Person for some reason, given. Media interviewed Person for reason they stated, not given. Entity made contradiction because of stupidity or error — not given.

This hasn’t solved any contradictions specifically, but it has led to an orderly process: “inspect the givens to determine where the contradiction lies”. “Where” – it’s either in me, or it’s not in me. If it’s in me, then it’s a matter of reflection. If it’s not in me, then I have linked someone’s name to danger.

Either way, getting mad is no longer part of the equation. No more mental equivalent of pointless rioting, because the problem structure has been identified. And one of the results of the structure is: enemies exist only on the outside.

If the self was a nation, this would be unification.


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