Starting with Our WEAKNESS...

My good friend Adele ( and I are getting ready to write a cooperative series of posts on what it means to argue from a position of weakness. We’re inspired by this quotation from Adele’s friend, author/thinker/lecturer Peter Rollins:

* * *

What we tend to do is… whenever we are in an argument I will argue from the place of strength, the strongest part of my argument, and direct is at the weakest part of your argument. And you will in turn take the strongest part of your argument and attack the weakest part of my argument. And what I really want to do is to enter into dialogs where I can talk about the weakest part of my argument and you can talk about the weakest part of your argument. and I can accept and celebrate the strongest part of your arguments and visa-versa.

Peter Rollins, from a Nick and Josh Podcast Interview

* * *

Rollins is absolutely right! We naturally tend to focus on our own strengths and capitalize on others’ weaknesses. This is probably less about egotism, and more about the brokenness and insecurity of most people. We protect “our weak” by overemphasizing “our strong.” And in doing so, we’re not being entirely honest, are we?

There are weaknesses in me. Rather than hide them from you, I’d like to tell you about them. This demands a difficult level of vulnerability and transparency. It means you’ll have an opportunity to attack where I’m least “defended.”

In turn, you have strengths that may frustrate me, confound me, or directly refute something about my beliefs! But they are strengths, nonetheless. And by ignoring or underestimating them, I don’t just weaken my particular “position” (we must get beyond these adversarial identifiers) but I also underestimate and even undervalue your worth, and the complexity of your experiences that have led you to where you are.

Over the next couple of weeks, Adele and I will be co-op blogging on our own weaknesses, on the strengths we find in opposing - NO - DIFFERING viewpoints and belief systems, and we’ll be reflecting on why this is such a radically different way of dialoguing!

You are invited to join us at either…


Joan Ball said...

Looking forward to reading it here and there...

Existential Punk said...

Me to, Joan!

LOVE you, Peter, and so excited about doing this series with you!


Popular Posts