There are people in this world you cannot help.
If you persist in trying to help them, you will only get hurt for no good purpose. We give ourselves completely and freely to truth, but we can’t decide that for anyone else. Nor can we pretend we have arrived at universal truth, only that we are committed to it. You aren’t really offering truth, but yourself. It’s the truth you know, and it’s not for everyone. Having and knowing the truth, being able to uncover it before the eyes of another, is not always the point. A part of that truth is there are people and contexts in which your truth is always hostile.
I find myself dismayed by my own demons in this. Truth is not a static pile of facts in properly ordered arrangement. Truth is a Person, and is all about linking others persons back to the Person which is Truth. There are times when being True means playing a child’s game in a child’s imaginary world. The child needs the truth of my caring so that I become significant enough to share the truth outside that fantasy world sometime later. Truth is the investment of building a pathway for tomorrow. Truth is not demanding full submission this day and hour as the price for being in my world.
You need not be indifferent to someone else’s ignorance to let it slide. You do need to know whether and when you are in a position to help them. You don’t give pearls to swine, nor even a plate from your table. You give them the rotting leftovers from your previous feast. If they learn to trust you as a source for what they believe they really need, perhaps they will learn to trust you as the source for things more important. But you cannot make a pig into a buddy. That is, unless you are a pig yourself, in which case you won’t care and won’t read my stuff.
It’s not a question of whether the person is worth your time. It’s a question of whether they are in your reach, and whether the issue at hand makes any difference. The world itself is a big lie, so why should you blindly try to fix every niggling factual mistake? This is why I say the Rule of Law is a fantasy, because it presumes the actual ability to be fair and disinterested on the part of anyone with power to execute the law. To find someone pedantically devoted to the facts means finding someone so deeply flawed they have no understanding of what matters, of why we bother to gather facts in the first place. We do it because people are more important than facts, particularly in the sense of whether people have their facts straight.
It’s not dishonest to offer slop to a pig, regardless what costume someone puts on that pig. Someone who wants slop has declared themselves a pig. In casual conversation, when you meet people, keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Smile and ask polite and careful questions so you know what you are dealing with. To fix old and broken relationships, just shift your tactics. Stop trying to correct their misunderstanding of reality. Be ready to dissolve partnerships not in your partner’s best interest, or at least some of the closeness. Draw back and set them free. You don’t have to wallow in the mud to appreciate the need for creating a mud hole for some folks. Meet their needs at the level they live, so far as you can discern. Deal with people on the level they choose for themselves, not where you want them to be.
Changing a pig to a person is not in your power.