There are moments in a conversation
When the flow of words is no longer an activity of mutual edification,
When the roles of speaker and listener are no longer revolving,
And the couch of conversation
Has become a podium of proclamation;
The conversation has become
A public speaking exercise
Where the one with the best presentation wins.
But is there really a winner?
Sure, if you ‘win’ the argument
You have displayed your mental and oratory prowess,
But you have also successfully reduced whoever you were speaking to
From a participant in a conversation
To a loser in the war against your ego.
In a moment of self-indulgence
You have decided that the sound of your own voice
And the dominance of your ideas
Is more meaningful than open dialogue.
So you may have gained a fleeting victory,
But you have also denied everyone involved
The simple joys of a good conversation.
There are no more meaningless wins
Than the ones that must be gained
At the expense of another.
Competition in its rightful place,
Is a beautiful thing
And can bring warring parties together,
But the desire to win
Can also flatten
The very people you simply need to connect with.
He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.
-Proverbs 18:1,2 (NASB)