When is it useful to argue personal beliefs on social issues in public? I would argue never.
Here’s what I’ve learned: it is highly unlikely (read: near impossible) to change someone else’s mind. Psychologists have long recognized a phenomenon that plays out like this: two people begin discussing their beliefs about some polarizing topic, e.g, immigration. The more passionately each side makes their case, the more the party with an opposing viewpoint digs in their heels. So instead of thoughtfully examining both sides of the issue, each party instead leaves even more convinced that they are right, and as a result are now even less likely to change their views.
So what to do? It’s fucking exhausting engaging in this kind of discourse when you realize nothing is going to change, indeed, you might even be making things worse.
I’ve decided that at 62, having already skirted death twice in my 50s, I’m done with this shit. Life’s too short to waste it on a fool’s game.
Unless someone is about to die, I’m keeping my mouth shut. I’ve got more important shit to do.