For all of the tolerance I preach and all of the common ground dialogue I propose I’m really not very good at accepting other people’s way of seeing things. I tend to cling to the notion of my moral superiority when people advocate for free markets over free people, corporate interests over human interests, exclusion over inclusion and religious values over humanitarian values. In many of my arguments I generalize and paint with that broad brush of categorizing all of the opposition to my world view as being selfish, heartless and or ignorant. I never, in my mind, mean that everyone associated with an opposing view is selfish, heartless or ignorant. It is lazy to form my arguments with words that suggest that. More importantly it is ineffective.
Who is going to listen to someone when they condemn first and maybe, possibly listen later? Who is going to want to engage with me when I present my prejudice up front; certainly not the prejudiced racists who voted for Trump? (Just checking to see if you are paying attention.) You know what is telling? For all of the tolerance I preach and all of the common ground dialogue I propose I rarely get the opportunity to engage with those who do not share my sentiment. I complain about polarization and I contribute to the polarity.
It’s no secret that I favor progressive politics. I advocate on these pages that we need to work together to bring about the change we want to see in the world. I recognize that there are many non-negotiables in the values I hold dear but words do matter. Those words not only matter when posted here but they also matter in my inner dialogue. If I am unable to try to understand a person’s reasons for expressing ideas I disagree with there is little chance I will ever convince them to understand mine. I need to do better. Feel free to hold me accountable. Have a great day. Thanks for stopping by.