Bridging the divide


This political season has underscored the significant and emotionally-charged differences in values and perspectives that divide Americans.

Too many people from all political persuasions follow some variation of this thought process, perhaps unconsciously:

• You and I have different political views.

• Therefore, you are wrong.

• And, because you are wrong, you are evil.

I have learned that it is much harder to travel down the road of such harsh judgments once we have listened carefully and with empathy to the life stories of others to more deeply understand the people and events that shaped their views.

Such listening does not mean that we will necessarily agree with their reasoning nor that we will be able to influence their points of view.

But it will make it possible for us to see them as human beings worthy of respect, a quality that seems to be in short supply these days.

While I am not naive enough to believe that listening with empathy is the bridge across those differences, I do think it is the onramp to that bridge and an essential step in addressing the profound differences that divide us as a nation.

Do you agree?

3 Responses to “Bridging the divide”

  1. 1 Jpk October 19, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Thank you for reminding us that we, as humans, share many commonalities even though our ideologies differ.

  2. 2 Rick Repicky October 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    One of your best, Dennis, and so timely given the sparks that will probably fly tonight.

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