Stop Debating and Change the World

Every minute you spend trying to change someone’s mind you lose six minutes that could change the world.

We all know that people don’t change. You can only convince someone of what they already know to be true but have not yet acknowledged. If they already have it in them, they’ll eventually find it on their own if it is important enough (and the strongest truths are those we find ourselves). And if they don’t, then at best you’re eventually going to “agree to disagree.” So trying to change people serves no purpose either way.

But you have to express yourself? True. Expression is a corollary of life, whether expressing thoughts and ideas through communication, values through choices, or will through action. Achievements of purposeful expression affirm or change reality.

I used to say that when trying to argue a point I was planting seeds. That eventually reality would water these seeds enough and they would grow in the minds I had planted them in. Oh, the self-importance of youth. True, reality will eventually flush out falsehood. But reality is set by nature and by action, not by words evaporated into dead air. Reality provides the seeds and the water. So you cannot change people, but you can change reality.

Purposeful expression affects change, but seeking to change others distracts from purpose. Or perhaps best summed up by Gandhi, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

So don’t wait. Stop changing people and endeavor to achieve, reality will take care of the rest.