This satanic principle might seem at odds with the previous one, “Object to that which affects you or your loved ones adversely.” I would argue that this principle is a caveat to the previous statement. Object to that which affects you or your loved ones adversely, but don’t waste your energy fighting pointlessly. The controversy around the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade is a prime example of what I’m talking about. (Apologies if my latest posts have seemed fixated on Roe v. Wade. It’s a topic I feel passionately about.) This is absolutely something we should be objecting to. Thousands of people are going to be adversely affected by this ruling, and none of us should take it sitting down. However, we need to pick our battles wisely. There are certain people who will drain us of the energy we need to fight, whether they are doing it on purpose or not. Debating with these people is pointless, and it is essential to avoid it so we can instead focus our energy on taking the necessary actions to get people who will consider our needs in positions to do so.
This means Facebook feuds should be avoided. I said in a previous post that social media is an important forum to participate in, but there is a difference between a healthy debate with an intelligent and compassionate human being and a pointless argument with a brainwashed troll. A healthy debate features concessions and respect for the other party – the purpose is to understand another point of view so common ground can be reached. There is no common ground to be had in a pointless argument. Neither party is willing to concede any point because each are convinced of their own rightness, and in many cases, of their own moral superiority. Unless you like stirring drama – or exposing people as hypocrites or ignorant – commenting on your ultra-conservative Christian auntie’s “Abortion is Murder” Facebook post serves no real purpose except to expend energy that could be used to enact actual change or protect your loved ones who will be badly hurt by the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Of course, the topic of abortion isn’t the only topic that tends to spawn pointless arguments; any controversial topic and even some mundane ones get people riled up and angry. This satanic principle isn’t just about focusing energy, it’s also about self-care. Yes, it can be fun to figuratively poke the hornets’ nest and expose people for their idiocy and hypocrisy, but if you aren’t careful, you can get drawn into something more damaging to your mental health (or even your physical safety) than the fun that can be derived from a teasing debate with people on opposite sides of an issue. If you want to argue just for arguing’s sake, sometimes it’s best to sit it out and let people be dumb.