danisnotstr8 saidOK, lilTanker, I'm going to explain what I mean in more detail:
When you say that you've "come to realise" that your words aren't worth the effort, you're missing one detail. When you "fight" with powerful words, many times, those people will go home seemingly unaffected. However, they're thinking about it. To deny others the opportunity to hear your argument based on your estimation of an experience with someone else is to deny them the opportunity to learn. Not everyone changes his or her mind within the parameters of the actual debate. As a teacher, I have seen so many students change their minds about things over many days, or months, or even years. I have had students contact me and say that they had considered my talks about women's and gay people's rights within a different context-- i.e. in college-- and they have thanked me for saying some things that they never forgot. No single man will change the world, but as Margaret Mead suggested (posted by jackofhearts), a group of people CAN.
You might not feel as though you changed someone, but perhaps you were another chip off the old block. Ya know? Persistence is key. Whittle it down.
off hand, I can think of about 43 different clients who where shocked and uncomfortable to find out I was gay, 39 of those clients become great clients who all said the same thing that I had changed there ideas.
At no point did I ever talk about my self, my rights, I did not fight verbally with them, I maintained my self, my ideas and my views and never once did I let there opinion sway me or knock me down, if they ever attempted (and some did) to push me out of the way, they where put back in there place, never did any of them get to treat me as less of a person and a few of them where picked up on that.
Friends, some similar, told them I was gay, some didn't care, some did, most who did are still friends and now don't care, same thing, I never fought them, they asked me questions, I answered, questions included things like "why should gays me allowed to be married" "why should gays be given the right to adopt" and the questions went on and on and on and at no point did I fight them, I simply answer there questions, if they disagreed, then I did not mind.
I've watched arguments going on around here, I've read through replies to threads 300+ posts long, the arguments that seem to take place here (and out in the real world) are the same tired arguments that people have been fighting for decades and they are still going. What have we gotten from these arguments? after so many decades if argument works why are we still arguing about the same things?
YES, I agree, minds have been changed with argument, but I've also changed mines without argument.. these minds I don't believe changed because of the argument it's self but because the person will change anyway when exposed to new ideas and new views.. we have just both gone about it differently.
I think you might misunderstand me when I say I don't waste my time, I will never let another person take away my rights, just as I will never let another person take away there rights, I will never lay down and allow my self to be walked on, I will quite literally die before my ideals are destroyed by another person again. they may not cross this line and this line never moves.