By: David J. Smith, September 21, 2017
The most pressing challenge facing Americans today is our political and social divide. This divide was pronounce in the November elections, with Americans feeling we were more divided than ever before. Since then, public opinion has not changed. Many feel we are more divided as a country today than at any time since the Civil War.
What can be done? It is not a matter of changing people’s minds on important issues, but learning about their perspectives and views of the world. Using dialogue to reach out to those who are politically different is one means. In conversation, our approach cannot be one of “defeating” another one’s argument, rather it should be about reaching a level of understanding. This in turns provides space for finding commonality and agreeing on perspectives, which then leads to a shared vision of the future. This is an important precept of peace.
Over the past several months, I’ve posted about this issue. Below are some of my previous posts, as well as other ideas I have read about. For today, think about someone who has a different political or social view than your own. How might you engage in conversation with them? And then do it.