Healthy discussion over persuasion

11 months ago

To the editor:

I read Al Craft’s letter in the times on June 28. I must admit there was very little of what he said that I found easy to decipher. He mentioned me in his comments and after reading what he had to say I didn’t know if I should say “Thank you” or “I’m sorry.”

Mr. Craft’s theme, “The art of persuasion,” was directed at the Valley’s young men and women. I didn’t find it an easy read and I have no desire to dissect it.  He has a bit more writing flair than I find entertaining, but to each his own. What I would like to do though, is offer some thoughts of my own for the Valley’s young men and women to digest. 

For starters: I’ve never been a great fan of persuasion, although I’m sure it has its place. I choose healthy discussion over trying to force my ideology on anyone.  I prefer to offer different opinions, theories, etc., that will encourage thought in others and hopefully elicit a response as well. As I’ve said many times, “There are two sides to every story.” Explore both sides.

There are people who hold their opinions as strongly as you do yours. These opinions should be respected, not scorned, even if you can’t understand their logic. Remember, it isn’t necessary to convert everyone to your way of thinking. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” So, find comfort in knowing that at least it will know where the water is if it gets thirsty.          

It is almost always better to communicate in simple terms and reach everybody than to speak in riddles and lose the attention of some. This is a trait that I hope Mr. Craft might showcase another day so that those of us of lesser sophistication might enjoy reading and sharing his ideas.

Walter Crean