I came to some important conclusions about people and relationships.
A few days ago, I said:
"Insulting people isn't a good way to convince them of your idea. If you want to make a point understood, you must first break down the walls in the mind of your discussion audience. You must tear down your own walls as well. Ask them to state their idea clearly and listen with the intent to understand their point of view. Don't think of arguing. Think of things you might agree on and make a comparison starting with those similarities of thought. Explain your ideas without opposing the audience's ideas overtly. Use words like "I think" or "My opinion" instead of stating your ideas as concrete fact. Something which you accept as a fact may not be by the people you are speaking with, and if you offend them, the discussion cannot progress. Tell your audience that you find merit in the parts of their ideology which also exist in parallel in your own. Keep in mind that the point of a discussion is to logically discuss ideas, not to harm the other person. Winning or losing don't matter. If they do not come to the same conclusion as you, the best path is to agree to disagree. The prevention of strife is of utmost concern because it will create a subconscious hindrance to accepting your ideas in the future."
Then today as a part of a conversation (with a friend who was worried about being bullied for being gay) I said:
"I found a solution in rejecting labels as illusions of Mara that keep us separate from one-another. The reality is that differences are superficial and deep down, we all have the same condition. "
Another person suggested that he make his enemies feel stupid by debating them. I replied:
"Well, you could use logic to destroy them, and I used to do that. But I don't do it anymore because the people causing me pain were doing so out of fear and because of their own insecurity. Realizing this, I can only feel compassion for them. When I am insulted, I reply with kindness. It confuses them and makes them angry when you are nice and they wanted you to react. If you maintain your serenity in the face of adversity, your defenses will be impenetrable. If you must debate someone, refrain from attacking them or being mean. If you debate logically and kindly only seeking to help them understand and to understand them, then one day, they may change their minds about you. But if you insult them, they may never change their mind."
Then the one that had suggested the logical destruction told us about her experience with bullying, and I realized that:
"Our desire for the approval of others is often our own worst enemy."
"Attachments and desires are the cause of suffering; without attachments and desires, you cannot be hurt by the words of others. At the same time, when someone is trying to cause suffering to you or others, know that the cause of it is their own insecurity and desires to feel important or better than their neighbors. This desire arises from their own suffering."
"Control your thoughts; stop yourself when you think badly of someone and ask yourself why. Gotama Buddha said that "All that we are begins with our thoughts, with our minds, we create the universe." This rings true, because our thoughts become words and actions, and our words and actions now can have vast impacts upon the present and future. Try to understand other points of view before heaping on condemnation. Think before you speak. Think before you act. Remind yourself constantly to not reply out of anger or frustration, but to only reply once you have thought it out and can reply calmly, politely, and compassionately."