The goal is to bring people together.
It’s frustrating. We seem to have lost the ability to discuss anything without that conversation devolving into an emotional shouting match where we poke each other in the eye and call each other names. Then, we can’t seem to figure out why no one is listening.
When people get frustrated, we tend to lash out irrationally. Like a small child throwing a fit. It’s not terribly productive, or attractive.
I, like you (if you are honest), am GUILTY as charged.
So here is the idea: Can we drop the emotion and really try to listen? Or, at a minimum, can we allow the other party to get emotional, and not pick up that emotion, and escalate the situation? Can we let other people’s inability to communicate maturely be their problem, and not make it our problem?
Until we do that, I am afraid it will be more and more of the same noises around here, with the same devolving, and the same damage.
I toyed with the martial arts as a teenager. I thought it would be cool to be able to do the things I saw in the movies: Billy Jack, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris. Really cool. I am by no means an imposing male. At high school graduation, I was all the way up to 5′ 11″ and 135 pounds soaking wet. Some misguided folks might call me “skinny”, but the PC term is “built for speed”, or at least “slender.” So I learned a little trick from the martial arts: when someone comes after you, step aside. You never take on an attacker directly. You use their momentum to your advantage.
So it is with these difficult discussions. Here is one common trajectory of a difficult discussion:
Human #1: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”
Human #2: “But you can’t be saying that you are against a woman’s right to choose.”
Human #1: “That choice kills a baby.”
Human #2: “So you’re saying that you get to decide what a woman does with her own body? Anyone that thinks like that is a troglodyte.”
Troglodyte #1: “Well you’re an evil idiot that kills babies.”
Evil Idiot #2: “Shut up Troglodyte $#@#!%!!”
Troglodyte $#@#!% #1: “YOU shut up Evil Idiot!”
Evil Idiot #2: “NO! YOU SHUT UP TROGLODYTE $#@#!% !”
TROGLODYTE $#@#!% #1: “EVIL IDIOT!!!”
EVIL IDIOT #2: (storms away screaming): “TROGLODYTE SOMETHINGs are all the same!!!”
Yep, just like that. I have a suspicion that nobody had their mind, or perhaps more importantly their heart, changed. Both folks have a heart rate of 195+. Both are ANGRY. And, both parties have additional support for their preferred confirmation biases. And the cycle continues.
How nice. That should help a lot. They then return to their respective support “corners” and grumble about “those people,” and enjoy the comradery of calling out the (TROGLODYTE $#@#!%) or (EVIL IDIOT) to those who agree with their views, deepening the chasm that divides us.
We do this all the time, and it is insanity.
People often forecast their expectations on me. Some assume that I am a hard core liberal. Others assume I am a hard core conservative.
The truth is, of course, somewhere else. I am neither. I have deep issues with both parties in the US. Mainly because both parties have platforms with conflicting principles.
MY (almost) GUARANTEE: You will not agree with me on everything. Guaranteed. And that is OK. We would not have much to explore if we agreed on everything.
My REQUEST of YOU:
– Read what is here.
– Think about it. (No, REALLY: think about it)
– Comment on what you read, but only comment AFTER you have thought about it (BALANCED THOUGHT), AND…After your emotion has subsided,
– Don’t allow yourself to get emotional to the point of hatred and believing in your heart that I am some evil something.
None of us are at our best we when are ready to yell “TROGLODYTE $#@#!%” or “EVIL IDIOT”, so please refrain from commenting if you are in that state. I believe that the vast majority of people are trying to make things better. We just have big disagreements as to how to go about making things better.
So, this is about the exchange of ideas, nourished with Balanced Thought, respect, and the removal of the emotion that leads us to call names.
I think it is worth a try.
I hope you do too.