I discovered a very interesting board game the other day, where each player takes part in a mock tavern brawl. Your goal is simply to gather the most “reput
ation points” either by performing ridiculous stunts (swinging on chandeliers, showing off on the table) or by stealing reputation from your opponents (knocking them down with chairs, stabbing them in the back, etc).
As a game, it was a lot of chaotic fun, but the concept of “stealing reputation” got me to thinking about how we do that in real life. When we engage people we disagree with about something, do we have a humble posture that says “lets both learn and grow, because neither of us has arrived” or do we make people feel like they have to defend themselves in order to “win the debate” or be counted as an equal.
We can’t afford to stop talking about the things that are most important just because we don’t agree, but let’s look for ways to show our own vulnerability and to honor the other as we journey along together…
That doesn’t mean I won’t take you down in that board game though :).