Jul 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Many of you have probably encountered someone who questioned your motives for fighting for liberty. You've probably been called a slew of insults ranging from selfish and greedy to inhumane and insensitive. I know I have. I know how hard it can be to explain your true motives to someone who thinks their motives are so much holier-than-thou's.
I was actually frustrated about this very concept when I happened to stumble upon this article about Motives vs. Results. It reminded me why I should continue to fight for liberty, even when the rest of the world doesn’t understand. But more importantly, it helped me cope with others who don’t understand my motives. Here’s what I took from it.
The first step to making others understand your motives is to understand this concept:
"Both sides want to make the world a better place. We just disagree on how to get there."
This may not always seem true, especially when you know that government bailouts, subsidies, and the individual mandate are inherently evil. However, I encourage you to take a step back and realize that not everyone knows what you know, and not everyone’s intentions are evil. The sooner you begin to understand your opponent’s motives, the sooner they will begin to understand yours.
The next step is explain that your motives are the same. For example, the author of the article makes an excellent case for limited government based on a respect for his fellow human beings, rather than selfishness:
My opposition to a minimum wage or government schools or agricultural price supports or bank bailouts or mandatory health insurance or mandatory retirement contributions or mandatory eating habits doesn’t come from my selfishness or greed. Rather it comes from respect for my fellow human beings and a belief (not a faith) that leaving people free to choose what is best for themselves usually works out better than strangers making decisions for them.
Although you may believe that being self-interested is not a bad thing, it is much easier for your opponent to understand a selfless motive than it is to explain why self-interest can be good. Your opponent will be much likelier to accept your means when they understand that your ends are the same.
To read more on how to get others to understand your motives, read the full article here.