I was going to make this a “Highlight of the Day” but I don’t think it really qualifies.
Today I was hanging out with a good friend from high school, working on some grad school stuff, when we took a break for lunch. We went to the local pizza place and started chatting about college and classes and stuff. Suddenly, the guy at the next table approached us, asking what we were talking about (my friend said something about psychology and humanism which is what he heard). We started a conversation about college that was kind of small-talky. He asked where we went to school, what we were majoring in, and a few other things. We asked him some questions too. He told us he had dropped out of school and ended up working in business and accounting, which he loved. He was reading a book written by a deist because he loved learning and he was on a spiritual adventure. This of course piqued my interest.
He began to tell me a bit of his life philosophy, including the assertion that we don’t know anything, we just agree on some things and that’s how we decide facts. I’m not a huge fan of this new-agey philosophy of knowledge so I respectfully disagreed with his claim. He began to talk to me about language which I did agree with and then he left. He concluded saying he’d love to talk to me about this some other time, if he ever got the chance to see me again.
Of course, I had many reactions to this conversation. First I thought, I don’t live on this side of town! I guess I’m going to have to come here for lunch everyday until I see this guy again. Then I thought, I totally could’ve proved to him right then how and why he was wrong. And finally I thought, I’m glad I didn’t do that because that would’ve become an argument.
I confess, I used to be more argumentative than I am now (which may or may not be saying much since I don’t know how most people perceive me in terms of argumentativeness). 4 years ago, I totally would’ve had that argument. I might’ve won it too. But for most people, arguing isn’t the most effective way to share the gospel which is exactly what I wanted to do.
I hope, when I go to school, more opportunities like this will present themselves. I hope there will be more chances for me to engage with a random stranger about some obscure philosophical topic and approach it with love and not as a game to be won. I hope I can love people more than I love winning arguments.
Sometimes Latin just can’t do the trick.