“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.”
Sometimes it takes a few seconds to understand what a proverb is telling you. Sometimes you have to modernize the analogy to make it apply to you. Sometimes it just isn’t all that applicable to your life. Not this one. Not for me anyway.
The message is crystal clear. “Don’t lower yourself to a fool’s level by doing what they are doing.” I have to put this into practice every day on my blog. I make sure that the moderators run a tight ship, so there’s no cursing and no personal attacks, but there’s no rules against being an idiot.
So when someone starts an inane arguement or makes outrageous statements, there’s two ways to approach the situation. I can either engage the person in meaningless debate (risking getting irritated and reacting poorly) or I can simply ignore them and find a better conversation to participate in. I’m getting better at doing the latter but the temptation is always there to “show up” the fool.
I just have to remember: if you wallow around in the mud, what makes you so different than the pigs?