Taking on the World

taking_on_the_worldSo often when I read anti-homeschooling posts or articles, my first inclination is to write back and share “my side” of the story. Were I to attempt to respond to every argument I come in contact with, I wonder how much time would be wasted taking on the world.

While some arguments are worth the having, others are simply pointless. It seems there ought to be guidelines one could follow, to know whether or not a debate is profitable.

Talking with my hubby, he has given me a few suggestions I think might be beneficial to keep in mind.

Debate when you have the opportunity to make an impact. Do not argue simply to hear your own voice, but to change the way another might view the situation. While your words might not have an immediate effect, it might be the seed to bring about a future change. If there is no chance they will listen, keep still.

Debate when you have the opportunity to influence a third-party. While you might not sway the person whom you are debating, perhaps there is another listener who might benefit from the exchange.

There are times in which it is beneficial to state our case, perhaps enlightening another with information of which they were unaware. However, there are times in which it is best to simply remain silent.

While it might be fun “taking on the world”, it simply isn’t feasible. Not only do we lack the time to argue with everyone, but very often, it isn’t worth the effort.

Our time here is limited. We need to focus our attentions on the areas in which we can bring about a change and leave the nay-sayers to themselves.

When the Lord opens the doors of communication, we should walk through them with courage and willingness. However, when someone wishes to argue for the sake of arguing, it’s time to shake the dust from our feet and move along.

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19 thoughts on “Taking on the World

  1. While this was not the topic of my post, it should be stated… When debating, do so with humility, respect, and dignity. The purpose of an informed discussion is not to beat the other person into the ground, but to inform and enlighten. Too often, a harmless exchange can turn into something ugly and base. Let’s rise above such nonsense, shall we?

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    • I agree wholeheartedly. Often, the confrontational people are arguing for the sake of argument. As Christians we need to stand for the Truth, yet at the same time, not “cast our pearls before swine.” (Matt. 7:6) It is a matter of spiritual discernment, whether the exchange is edifying to you or the other person involved.

      As a Bible teacher, I can get rather “frisky” when the Word is challenged by an atheist. My usual therapy for these encounters is to reply only with Scripture! (they hate that) 🙂

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    • Stay strong! Your opinion is important and I enjoy a great debate, but you husband is correct. There is a time and place for it, which is unfortunate!!!!! I enjoy your blogs and your point of view! Most people probably do not agree with my posts or my point of view, but they are enlightened to another way of thinking. For this I am greatful, if it makes them”think”, then I have done my job. You are a voice for those who do not have one (children) and you impact the world even if it is small. God has a plan, it seems to me you are doing a great job listening and doing! Keep up the good work and keep blogging, turn your frustration into a solution in your blog. I am inspired by statements made on facebook or in the community, that is where my posts come from. I debate without confronting anyone, heeee heeee heeeee!!!!

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  2. I have found over the years that most anti-homeschooling comments are usually ignorant (as in lack of knowledge) or defensive in nature. I don’t debate (in general) because I am not questioning their ideas/intent/motive, I am absolutely comfortable with the choices we make for our family and why. simply put, if asked, I share.
    Now that’s not to say that I wouldn’t take a article that I disagree with and share my opinion about it, but that would be on my own (as in blogging) where I am not actually rebuttaling the person but the idea. =)
    Nice thought-provoking post. ;^)
    ~Sheri

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    • Great idea! I have done the same, only to have the person (somehow) find me and attack me on my own blog! Ouch!
      We are comfortable with how the Lord has led our family, but for the sake of others who might also read, my guy is tempted to leave a response.
      Thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. Well said. I have also learned a lesson from a friend who, when she entered a teacher staff room, heard a fellow staff member say to another about a politician they admired, “I just don’t understand people who do not like ____(conservative politician),” in a manner that seemed to invite comment. My friend (a liberal, more liberal that I), after a pause, said, “well, I do have some ideas on that, and if you like, I can share them with you.” The women invited her to do so. She expressed her views based on verifiable evidence that showed the women IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY VALUED AS CONSERVATIVES (sorry, no italics available) that this politician was not so noble, in fact not conservative ENOUGH that the women should think her so admirable. They were spellbound and I believe she had an impact. So in the case of, say, the oft-repeated comment “What about socialization?” rather than trying to ensure the questioner that we do get our children out to play with other children their age, we could show that because we are concerned about that, we choose to allow our children much broader social opportunities and better social mentoring than can be provided in school, including ample time to reflect on and process social experiences in peace and quiet.

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  4. Such a good post. Great reminders, and tactics. I am a firm believer in respectful debate and civil discourse, but too often I won’t see that happen in the real world, and as you say, it is important to pick your battles. 😉

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  5. Hear, hear! Really, we should listen to what the other person is saying. I like to walk away before I make a rash response. If I still feel a response is necessary, hopefully it will be better considered. Thanks for sharing your ideas on this topic.

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  6. Then again, some anti-homeschooling critics can behave like arrogant and obnoxious ideological bullies, deserving of a good intellectual beating to put them in their place. Of course, when giving one of these ideological punks the beating he so deserves, one should remember to do it in love. (I jest of course.)

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  7. I had a thought recently. The next time someone asks me about “socialization” I’m going to put the ball back in his/her court and ask “What do you mean by that?” I find it odd that the word “socialization” is only used when someone finds out I am a homeschooler. I didn’t grow up hearing that word and it is never used in general settings. So I am genuinely curious. What does a person mean when he/she asks about socialization. Maybe that will set him/her back on his/her heels and wonder why he/she is even asking the question.

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  8. I was homeschooled myself, as was my sister and my now brother-in-law and while I haven’t entered into may online debates on the subject, there were plenty of people in my ersonal life that showed discomfort with the idea when my parents and I decided to leave the public school system. My grandmother was a high school English teacher and was rather disappointed when I revealed that I would not be attending high school at the school she taught at. In my experience, the best way to handle those who doubt the validity of at home learning, is to demonstrate the success.

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  9. Well put. The choices we make are our own and sometimes when we argue the point, the joy turns into negative energy. Many times, mum’s the word is the best response! I do like the point you make about how we can affect other people who may be listening…

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