Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Can we talk?

We have stopped listening.  Almost everyone has chosen a side--on whatever issue--and we have become emotionally invested in those positions.

We are so polarized that we cannot listen or think.  This brings further division and never solves problems.

I wish I knew a way to get beyond this impasse.  Maybe the best step forward would be recognizing our emotional investment in our opinions.  We invest in our views on climate change, political candidates, party platforms, minimum wage, abortion, etc., etc.  When someone challenges our opinions, we hunker down into a defensive mode; we attack those who disagree; we label others; we become angry.

It is no wonder that we can't have a conversation.  We are emotionally invested in being right.  We defend social and political positions as we pull for our sports teams.  We throw out reason and objectivity when we pull for our teams.  That's okay in the sports realm.  It makes no sense at all with issues that really matter.

A better approach would be to search sincerely for the truth.

I would rather advocate for the truth than pull for "my team" when it comes to climate change, foreign policy, or welfare programs.

If we dial back on our emotional investments, maybe we can actually listen.  Maybe we can think clearly.  Maybe we can find solutions. 

Maybe we can listen.  Maybe we can think.  And maybe we can pull together to achieve our common goals.