Thin Skin


…I reckon I’ve got it. An ‘in your face’ blog in The Telegraph the other day accused our Prime Minister of not having learned in ‘the school of hard knocks’ – not having the appetite to enjoy scrapping it out with all comers.

Montaigne for his part advocates garrulousness:

I love stout expressions amongst gentle men, and to have them speak as they think.

His argument is there is joy in debate and disagreement:

The contradictions of judgments, then, neither offend nor alter, they only rouse and exercise, me. We evade correction, whereas we ought to offer and present ourselves to it.

I’m a bit equivocal on all that. I like to get to the right answer and certainly don’t need to be right in the process. But I don’t like being shouted down – or shoved about. Montaigne though seems energised by it.

When any one contradicts me, he raises my attention, not my anger: I advance towards him who controverts, who instructs me; the cause of truth ought to be the common cause both of the one and the other.

Perhaps I should be work on being a bit more argumentative – up for a rumble. I don’t like cheap shots and low blows, but I’m trying to stand my ground a bit more this week. Let’s see if I get a bloody nose.

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