We all have a strong set of core values; we wouldn’t have come as far as we have if that weren’t the case. We do our best to sleuth out the most important facts and figures, and we craft for ourselves a narrative of the truth that aligns not only with what we value, but with what we hope others will value in themselves.
This helps explain why we’re all so good at attracting like-minded individuals to ourselves and our causes - when you’re passionate about something, it shines through, luring others with the same passion to the same luminous sources. And yet, this also poses an incredible problem for all of us. In the immortal words of Frank Zappa, “One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.”
He’s right, of course. You cannot change someone’s mind who vehemently disagrees with you. But what you can strive to do is to go all the way back to the beginning of the process and remember how they arrived at their position in the first place: based on their values and the information that they deemed was important and reliable. The people with core values that oppose our own are not the people whose hearts and minds we even want to win over, but what about the people with similar values who just chose to emphasize a different selection of facts as their starting point?