Everyone has an opinion. And we all tend to believe our opinion is the correct one. And when it matters, we’re likely to try to persuade others to our point of view. We strengthen our case when we show our work and reason together.
Back in math class, it wasn’t enough to simply give an answer to a problem. Even if it was the correct answer, we still had to show our work. Part of the lesson was learning how we arrived at our particular answers.
And this is still helpful when we’re trying to persuade others to our point of view.
It’s not particularly convincing to merely state the facts of our opinion. It’s still just an opinion of no more value than the next.
But we open the door for a true dialogue when we show our work and explain why we believe what we believe.
We’re not trying to force our beliefs onto others. But we are trying to provide convincing reasons for them to make a similar conclusion.
And, in the end, it’s not us they believe per se. Rather, they believe for themselves based on the truth and evidence presented.
We’re more likely to find common ground when we both remain open-minded and humble enough to truly listen and reason with one another.
Conversations are shutdown when our minds are already made up and we refuse to show our work.
It’s not that we don’t hold firm to what we believe. But we don’t have to fear questioning our beliefs either. Truth can withstand any amount of questioning.
It’s okay to have many opinions. But show your work and learn to reason together. This paves the way for deeper understanding and harmony.