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I've Come to Have an Argument  

:: Friday, May 27, 2005 ::

I tend to avoid arguments. My ex-husband once said that he stopped bothering to argue with me because I was always right.

What he really meant was I was a wicked fighter. When I get to playing devils advocate, or start delving into the levels of thought behind a point, it's like being in a contest and needing to score points.

Unlike some people, I find no pleasure in being the witty debater out for the kill. I think it's surprising that someone with my peace oriented nature can dig in and turn the knife so expertly, but thank goodness, I dislike how that feels and avoid it as much as possible. My new husband enjoys the exchange of wit, and will put up a good fight, but an argument with him is like spring cleaning and washing the windows. You always feel so damned good after you get the dirt out of the corners.

With some violently heated threads occurring more often in search engine marketing forums, you would think professional SEO's are out for blood. Long time, respected, well known industry leaders or just admirable individuals dedicated to SEO/SEM are being trashed and dragged through the streets. It seems as though many newer folks don't understand that the SEO industry is old, by Internet terms, and the people they're attacking have known each other, and worked alongside one another, for years.

Even when sitting on opposite sides of the fence, many of them have a high regard for one another. I deeply admire these classy folks.

Civil Integrity

Barry Welford, a Moderator for Cre8asiteForums, found some insight into the nature of debate after hearing a discusson on Canadian radio. He was moved to bring it up in discussion, in Promoting Civilized Debate Barry writes:

"The written word is so much weaker than the spoken word in transmitting information. Read too quickly it may even transmit an unintended message. The inability to see the physical presence removes the possibility of seeing a smile or an encouraging nod. You're not even sure how many people are "there" as the debate goes on. It's all one-dimensional and it's very tough to loop back and open up a previous point. You might even question whether serious debates can really take place in Forums."

Some other comments in the new thread...

"A civil debate requires civil debaters."

"Two things: an absolute willingness to accept disagreement -- and an absolute willingness to move your butt."

A family member of mine used to say, "Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Mine." Nobody liked him much until he learned the art of listening.

Somehow, on those rare occasions when I become Dragon-lady (short-lived, as these times are), I refrain from causing hurt to anyone. It's healthy to express and outflow the garbage we retain in our cells, but to dump that same garbage on another human being is not something we have the right to do.

Being of Blackfoot, Cherokee and Shawnee ancestry, my soul self is often guided by the old wisdoms. To me, the sounds of drumming are the call to heaven and passing the "talking stick" so that one person talks at a time is a brilliant practice. Rather than sitting on "sides", Native Americans gathered in circles and all voices were offered a chance to be heard.

I turned 47 years old today. (Thank you to those who have sent me birthday wishes. How did you know I'd be so touched?) It's likely a mid-life ritual thing, but I've been on this "What can I do to make a difference in the world?" trip. I still haven't figured it out, but I want to do something good and that feels good doing.

It goes along with this Dakota saying:

"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."

I admire and thank many of you who leave good tracks and carve out positive paths in the search engine optimization and marketing industries, and the user centered design related ones as well.

Deeds speak louder than words.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 5/27/2005 10:54:00 AM

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