Friday, February 6, 2015

We need to talk....

We need to talk to each other. We need to talk about things with people we may not agree. It can be very positive. Take a deep breath and listen.
Three times this week I felt very encouraged in talking with people who don't share my perspective on some issues. The three issues were hot topics - Islam and Christianity, Healthcare, and Global Warming. Each conversation began with a statement of conclusion that I don't share. I followed with "Well..." and my perception of a baseline of fact. What was wonderful is that each then offered another statement of fact that persuaded them. We didn't dismiss each other. We listened. On both sides we acknowledged, at least, an understanding of the others point of view. As we talked we found common ground.
It was civil and respectful conversation. We didn't come to total agreement. But I walked away feeling good and feeling like I learned something. I won't be afraid to talk with any of them again about any topic we may not agree about. After the one conversation I actually felt we had come up with the most logical solution and our national leaders should be doing just what we talked about.
I really like talking with people with differing perspectives when discussions are mindful and meaningful. It's impossible to get that level of discussion on line. We need to hear the tone of voice. We need the fluidity of real time conversation. We need to be able to look into the other person's eyes.
It has me thinking that I need to be cautious in my reaction to on line comments. I'm often tempted to jump on a facebook post that is a statement of conclusion that I don't share. Perhaps I need to ask that person to lunch and try to understand how they came to that conclusion. I might be pleased to discover the quality of character and thought I encountered this week. We might not agree at the end of the conversation but I might learn something.
I write a lot of things and make a lot of statements that may cause a person to want to react to me in the way I have felt like reacting at times or have reacted at times. If you read this and say "Yes, you have done that, " invite me to lunch. You might not change my opinion but I'm open to learning something.

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