How to Win An Argument

“If you think you are truly enlightened, go spend a weekend with your parents”~Ram Dass

I’ve found that my greatest teachers on the path to awakening are my closest family members. The other day  at a family gathering, I mentioned how I attended a seminar with Dr. Dan Siegel who mentioned a new study  that reveals how the college you choose for undergrad has no effect on your future success, happiness, or well-being.

“I don’t believe it,” said my cousin’s wife.

“Google and Facebook will not even think about hiring you if you don’t come from one of the top schools,” said another cousin.

I tried to counter with “you don’t have to work at Google or Facebook to be successful or happy,” but it fell on deaf ears. I found myself getting activated–my shoulders tensed, my heart-rate jumped.

After an antagonistic argument, I felt disconnected. I confessed my frustration to one of my cousins, who said, “every study has a different study that argues the exact opposite.”

I realized that if people aren’t ready to hear something, it doesn’t matter how much research, documentation, or authority you have, they won’t hear it. This reminded me of the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

My biggest realization was that I was egotistically trying to be the teacher to “students” who were not ready. I often make this mistake in blogging, writing, and everyday life. I try to “enlighten” other with my point of view. This might stem from some insecurity or need for attention, but what really matters is to become aware of this tendency and to stop.

I am dedicating myself to “be the change I wish to see in the world” and “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” I want this blog to be about serving others, not telling them what to do or how to live. Please let me know if I ever start preaching to you in any manner or imposing my point of view as the Truth. You are all my family. You are all my gurus. I appreciate your wisdom and guidance.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

This post is for the Monthly Peace Challenge: We Are Family. Specifically, it answers the prompt: “Tell a story about a family event that included “necessary suffering” and healing/forgiveness.”

Check out these other brave posts for peace:

Bad Dreams–A Letter to My Mother

Letter to My Mom

A Letter to Me


23 comments on “How to Win An Argument

  1. I don’t think you’ve ever come across as preachy, my dear friend. You simply try to offer others a different perspective – I don’t see you trying to force-feed it to anyone.
    Our families do often teach us, though. Sometimes when we don’t want to be taught.

  2. rarasaur says:

    You’re never preachy, Kozo. 🙂

    I don’t need to read the study to know you’re right. The best jobs I ever had never cared where I went to school. I don’t even include it on my resume. And the only shared characteristic of the unemployed friends and family who lived on my sofas or my family’s sofas? Ivy league degrees, or posh-school degrees. I think it’s because so often people think the degree of that level will give them direction. Direction– and love– are the only things that make success. No name or little piece of paper will do that, in the long-run.

    But I do agree with your cousin, too… I’m very skeptical about studies people quote at me. So many are funded by biased sources. I hear, but I very rarely listen– unless they provide me with a source that I can investigate on my own. There’s just too much falsely presented information out there… and as a math-minded person, I know how easy it is to slant a statistic to say what you want it to say. I’ve made recent efforts to let go of the “truth” of the report, and focus on what the person is trying to tell me, or what fears/joys they are expressing.

    It’s a work in progress. 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I would love to cut and paste this comment and make another post. So much wisdom here. I agree with you 100% on everything–even though I heard that you can’t agree 100% on anything. haha.
      Yes, direction and love. I think about all the huge world movers who had no degrees, but tons of direction and love—Buddha, Christ, St. Joan of Arc, St. Francis, Amma.
      I also agree with your view on studies. I’m going to stop using studies to convince people. I’m going to simply be me and hopefully heal others in this being.
      I really appreciate your love and direction, your wisdom, and your friendship. Love, Kozo

  3. Hi my friend! I have never once gotten the impression you are preaching or swaying any ideas onto us– in your writings. What I always feel after reading your words is a beautiful sharing and you always leave me with much to ponder (FFT=Food for Thought) which, is why I LOVE reading you. Please keep writing your heart out and I will be here reading with Joy!!!! {{{HUGS}}}!!!!!!

  4. diannegray says:

    The best teachers are the ones that guide us and not tell us what they think we should know (I just made that up as I went along) 😉 I think it’s wonderful that everyone has a difference of opinion and it’s what makes our world such a unique and talented place. I have a feeling that your family taught you something during that conversation and it’s probably up to you to think about what it was.

    What irks me (here goes…) is when when people have a difference of opinion just because they don’t want to agree with anything you say. I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but I have a family member like this – if I said the sky was blue she would do everything in her power to prove me wrong. I think it’s just a personality thing.

    {{{hugs}}} to you my friend 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the saying you made up, Dianne. Yes, guidance without shoulds. I also agree that the variety of opinions makes the world unique and beautiful. Variations on the theme of love is how I like to think of it.
      In regards to your family member, I feel compassion for her because life must be so difficult if one is always looking for differences rather than connections. {{{hugs}}}} Kozo

  5. Hello there! I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a new blogging award, the Shauny award. It’s actually an award without any rules, so you don’t have to tag other bloggers if you are short on time. I just wanted to give it to you because I think your blog is special 😀 Here’s the post:

  6. Kelly Kuhn says:

    Great post. I struggled once or twice with blogging about my life because I feared people would think I was being self-centered, and they wouldn’t care about my stuff; I wondered whether I should eliminate my personal stuff and go straight to the lessons that might help others. But I know myself – I don’t want to be lectured. I want to read about other people’s experiences and lessons, and then be free to pull out what is right for me. I trust my readers are the same. If they aren’t, they can find plenty of preachy blogs.

    Great to do what’s right for you.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      So true, Kelly. Our personal lives make us who we are. I can’t imagine blogging without being personal. I want my life to be the teaching I leave behind. Let me know if my blog ever gets preachy. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. sarahneeve says:

    Dear Kozo.

    The one thing I could never see you being, is “preachy”. You write with the ability to help, and instil a sense of peace I have found nowhere else.

    So please, keep doing what you are doing. 😉 And thanks for the pingback; 🙂

  8. Shanti Baku says:

    You too Kozo? I often have to step back (metaphorically!) and ask myself if what I just typed was preachy. I aim to inspire, not tell people what to do. I often come back from a coffee break and delete a section for that very reason! We can but try, isn’t it.

    B4Peace is amazing, and I think I’ve been here a year already, but have to give yous a break for awhile. Am setting up my own Reiki business, so really must put more time into that instead.
    Will pop back now n then to say hello tho, so there’ll be more posts to come in a little while too 🙂

    Thank you 🙂

  9. […] on February 23, 2014 by appletonavenue Feb18 by Kozo […]

  10. samara says:

    Hi, I’m new to your blog.
    I found you through Rara.
    I feel the need for peace and hugs, and I think this is the right place.
    So, I’m following you now.
    thank you.

  11. Geo Sans says:

    finding answers
    not telling
    you are only
    everyone processes

  12. […] the amazing Rarasaur commented on my post “How to Win An Argument” with some career […]

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