If you read the first article in this series you will know the featured image has nothing to do with the content of the article. It was an idea inspired by people who see what they want to see rather than what is actually the truth. How do we communicate with people who don’t want to be open to discussion and change? To take this further, how do we ensure we are open to discussion and change? Why would a Republican and Democrat want to talk? What good could come of it?
Actually, a lot. As we discussed in the last article, communication is a two-way street. It requires openness, but there also has to be a purpose. If we think of some hot-buttons in society, we can find ways to re-frame the discussion so we can work together to find solutions. We look at the symptoms of deeper issues and get caught up on solutions to the symptom rather than a solution to the problem. Which has greater benefit, fighting over abortions or working together to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies? Should we fight about which guns people should have, or work to change our society so we can raise our kids with hope?
I realize that what I am saying is not easy to do. I also realize that solutions will be a long way down the road, but can you honestly say the current plan of ignoring the root of the problem is working? Is investing time and energy into a solution we all create and compromise on less acceptable than winning for 8 years and losing for another 8? Personally I don’t think so. I would prefer a couple of years of pushing for a compromise everyone can accept, realizing that in a democracy no one gets everything they want. Not ever.
And this is why the problem we have is a failure to communicate. Some men you really can’t reach. We live in a world where I can access the whole world of information, I can order any item of clothing, song, kitchen appliance, movie, you name it, I can order it in under 5 minutes (OK, maybe 10 minutes as I don’t use Amazon anymore because of Bezos’ threat to Seattle). Why should I have to talk to someone I don’t like in order to compromise on an issue I really care about (unless it costs me something). I shouldn’t. A quick post on social media should be enough, I’ll throw in a meme in case they are stupid and can’t read a long article, and if a meme doesn’t change their mind, nothing will. So many conflicts, fights, arguments, divorces, and broken relationships could be healed if people would compromise and just give a little. Sadly, even a little is too much for some people, which is why we continue to argue over the same issues and go through the same cycles.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – You don’t have to agree with someone to talk to them. You don’t even have to change your opinion to find a compromise. However, healing our society cannot work if we continue to dig in our heels fighting over symptoms, while we add more infection to the wound.
2 – If we are so sure on our position that we can’t see why someone else would believe anything different, where’s the harm in discussion? If you’re right, the other person will change their mind, right?
3 – Meme wars may make you feel good, but they don’t help to educate or change minds. Don’t misunderstand, I love memes, they are funny, and can be thought-provoking. Use them to get attention or to create discussion, but when you use them as the discussion, you’ve already lost.
Communication is hard, especially in a fast-paced world. My little U11/12 soccer team learned how to communicate with each other. They all had different jobs on the field, but they all had one common goal. If a bunch of kids can find their role and work together, surely we can?