Warriors, philosophers and evangelists

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Ahhh, the cable wars. Have you ever seen such vitriol? Hate? Devotion? Passion?

We don’t get as excited about breakfast cereal choices as we do with interconnecting cables or vinyl vs. digital. Why is that?

The more fundamental our beliefs, the greater the perceived threat, the more likely we are to defend them. If at your core you believe the world is flat, then no amount of evidence to the contrary is likely to sway you in the opposite direction. How could it? We see and hear that which supports what we believe.

As societies, we assign roles to members: philosophers to help us make sense of a complex world, evangelists to craft that understanding into a story and spread the word, and warriors to defend the faith.

Acknowledging these roles helps us separate the noise into categories to better understand people’s viewpoints. An angry voice is likely a warrior, the calming voice a philosopher, the bitterly entrenched, high priests evangelizing the story.

Why does this matter? For me, understanding the various roles each of us plays changes the approach I use to connect. Battling with a warrior divides us while offering some token of acceptance weakens the sword’s fury.

If connection is our goal, it’s helpful to meet those we seek to engage on their own terms.