“It is a common experience that argument seldom tends to alter the opinion of either side; in most cases it but confirms the opinions already held.” - Arthur E. Powell in “The Mental Body”If you observe many conversations, notice that most people are telling others what they think is true. Less often are people trying to find out what is true, or asking you what you think is true. Usually people have a fixed idea about the way things are or should be, and argue their point. Few are selfless enough to be willing to really listen to others, or are open minded enough to question and change their own beliefs. You can see this a lot in politics, in which most believe their views are right, and anybody who thinks differently is deluded if not malicious. You can especially see this in spirituality, in which most everybody sees their religion, philosophy, or way of life as the best path for humanity. Have you ever noticed that most people who want to share their spiritual beliefs, aren’t interested in hearing about yours? A classic example is Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas. I’ve always thought it would be cool to go door to door and instead ask people to tell me THEIR views on spirituality. :)
Most people just want to be heard and acknowledged, and to exercise their abilities and recognize their potential. Therefore it’s understandable why so many do try to preach and impose their views upon others. Musician Marilyn Manson, in an interview in the movie “Bowling for Columbine”, was asked what he would tell the 1999 Columbine High School shooters. His response was, “I wouldn't say anything, I would listen, obviously nobody else did that for them.”
“Giving others the freedom to be stupid is one of the most important and hardest steps to take in spiritual progress. Conveniently the opportunity to take that step is all around us every day.” - Thaddeus Golas in “The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment”The above quote is humorous, but contains deep wisdom. :) It’s actually very freeing to let other people have “wrong” opinions or make mistakes, and not feel like it’s our responsibility to correct them, change them, or otherwise fix the world. In the vast majority of cases people will figure things out on their own and erase any mistakes on their own, when they’re ready, and any attempts to force our more “enlightened” views down their throats and accelerate the schedule will only annoy both sides. That energy of opposition will often just make things worse and make real change slower than it would have been otherwise.
Note that is why Masters, Angels, and extraterrestrials don’t materialize and solve all our problems for us. They are giving us the freedom to be stupid and learn from mistakes. Were they to actually try and fix our issues, it would create more problems than it would solve, and actually delay humanity’s evolution. The entire continent of Atlantis allegedly sank due to misuse of power, but Greater Powers didn’t step in and stop it, which shows the lengths they’re willing to (not) go to let us evolve in our own way and with our own timing.
But wait, what about criminals, climate change deniers, or impressionable children? Don’t they need to be firmly talked to and influenced, for the good of themselves and others? None of the above means one becomes passive, or doesn’t work to help other people and improve our world. It just means that unless somebody is actually asking for your opinion, consider carefully before arguing yours. If you have ideas to share, it’s better to let people come to you. For example, if they’re reading your book or attending your workshop, then you know they want to and are ready to consider what you're offering. Beyond that, ultimately it’s best to be a positive example and let appropriate living be your lesson, which (although definitely more subtle) teaches far more effectively than any preaching. A classic quote that all parents, teachers, and gurus should remember is, “Children do as their parents do, not as they say.” ♥