In many of us, the need to win an argument is more compelling than the need to win a friend!

Of the many attachments we have in life, the attachment to our opinions, often, seems be the strongest one. Our compelling need to win our arguments – prove ourselves right, score a point – yes, this stems from our innate attachment to our own opinions. 

It is difficult to get off a tiger’s back, once we have climbed it!

Our tendency to argue with others – ironically, most of them are with our own dear and near ones – just reminds us of this tiger-safari…

It is sensible to leave the tiger alone…

I come across this man very regularly. He is highly qualified, holds a doctorate and a high post in a multinational company… earns a handsome package; his wife, even more qualified, earns more than her husband.

I know both of them. What puzzles me is this: the husband has an opinion on every subject, every event, every person… yes, on every thing under the Sun! At the drop of the hat, there goes this man: voicing forcefully his opinion. His views are, always, rock-hard… rigid. “I-know-all” is what this man trying to tell any one who gets into a discussion with him. Discussion has to end with an argument. It is extremely difficult to come out of an argument with this person, without getting bruised.

Many call him a ‘hot-air balloon’ and keep a distance from him… Many call him an ‘empty vessel’ and pity him for the loud noise he makes…

I just don’t get into a duel with this 'Smart aleck'!

“Two noisy waterfalls can never agree on anything”… I do not want be another noisy waterfall before him!

And, I also know this old wisdom: 

“Two bulls fighting must disengage their heads 

before one is defeated.”

I do not want to be fighting full, either!

The man just wants to win his arguments… He wants to score his points. 

I say, “Let him be the Champ!”

Now, about his wife. This woman is grace personified… ‘Argument’ is a foreign word in her dictionary… She makes you feel at home when you talk to her… Her opinions are never forced upon you… When they are voiced, you can feel, that there is a lot more scope to accommodate even another hundred opinions… Her being just one of the many! You feel you are having a discussion with another ‘growing-up’ human… your co-human! You never get a feeling, even for a second, that you have to ‘score a point’ or ‘prove something’ as you talk to this lady. 

Understandably, many call her ‘a mature woman’… some call her ‘a wise woman’… and the rest call her simply ‘a nice person’!

The old proverb, “The empty vessel makes the most noise” … looks new when it comes to this PhD! 

What good it serves?

Every time I think of this couple, I feel good that wisdom and maturity have not much in common with how many PhD’s you hold… and, yes, yes, it has nothing to do at all with how much noise you can make!


Pics.: Gloria Pinto


WAMAN R. said…
Sea is calm where it is deep... it is noisiest where it is shallow!!! People are like sea!!! Good post.

Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thanks Waman. Love. GERRY
Unknown said…
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Amit Gupta said…
It is a good practice to pause and think about whether we need to respond to people. But before you respond you also need to think about 'how' you will respond and based on what you know about this person whether they can deal with/benefit from the discussion. Most of the time I find that this thought process does away completely with the need to communicate and other times, I am able to put up a 'trial balloon' to see if I need to discuss the matter further...There is a very good CD complilation on how to manage discussions and conversations called 'Difficult Conversations - How to discuss what matters most' by members of the Harvard Negotiating Project. It is very helpful to understand our 'contributory' role to discussions and how to emotionally intelligent.
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hey Amit, lovely perspective!

I would love to get my hand on that CD...

Amit, hope, I have not tried to 'fix' anyone in my Post... If at all I have, it is me. My Posts are about my own growth as fallible human. Yes, about 'fixing' me.

My writings have cases, imagery and examples, but, take a close look, is just to clean my own window!

So, I respect your perspective, but, appreciate if u too go slow on ur judgement on the inherent message I have been trying to impart for years on!

Love you dear,

Regards and gratitude.

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