I have recently found myself in a new environment and have been thinking about how to broach the subjects on which we discuss so frequently with people unfamiliar with the cause. I have kind of been anticipating and dreading the eventual moments when things like politics or the constitution are brought into conversation. Will anyone else understand? And will they even want to listen? What if it just ruins things?
I found myself looking back through my copy of Plato’s Gorgias and came across a passage where he describes how to have proper rhetoric. Socrates states that “A teacher passes his expertise on for his pupils to use when it is morally appropriate to do so-which is to say, defensively, not aggressively, and against people who wish them harm and do them wrong”. There will be a time when my knowledge, when all of our knowledge, will be called into question and we will have to defend it. But it is important to recognize when it is appropriate. And it may seem like that could be difficult. How do you know we to speak out and when to hold your tongue?
In truth, “we” kind of don’t. But the spirit does. We will be told/prompted when the time is right. And sometimes the people we talk with aren’t the right ones. Not everyone is prepared to take in this message. But the spirit will guide us to the right people. We should never turn down a prompting. And we should always be ready for a prompting.
And maybe there will be contention when you bring up your beliefs. But we have to remember to not be aggressive. We’re not trying to force our ideals on anyone. The people that deal in force are “trying to win the argument rather than look into the issue they set out to discuss”. Argument leads to anger leads to unclear minds. We can’t enter into these conversations hoping to “win”, only hoping to educate.
So I am still anxiously awaiting the day when I am prompted to share this information. I know that I have important things to say, and I trust that I will say them to the right people. With this knowledge, we have the responsibility to share this with others. We just need to remember the proper way.