Staying steady in this uncertain time is challenging. Even as the planet heats up and the world seems to spin out of control, our responsibility to care for ourselves, our families and friends, children, the elderly, and each other doesn’t cease.
Possibly, the familiar routine of going to work, cooking dinner, and tucking those you love into bed is the very activity that grounds a person.
Those of us who live alone would be wise to seek a community that anchors us by seeing and responding to us in healthy ways.
In this uncertain time, turn down the heat and build a bridge
Learning to talk with those with whom we disagree is essential if we have any hope of digging our way out of this toxic mire.
I don’t remember where on the internet that I saw this excellent advice on how to talk with people who disagree with you: Find out what they care about and start there. You will probably find that they aren’t as rigid as you might have imagined. You may find surprising insights and discover common ground.
This pdf file posted by St. Olaf College How to talk with people who disagree but aren’t yet disagreeable lists 12 points to stay on the high road while talking with others and actually hearing them. These are the Cliff Notes©:
- Don’t talk. Listen.
- Don’t talk. Question.
- Don’t try to persuade people unless you’re willing to be persuaded, not about deepest values, but about politics or policy or positions.
- Be personal (and personable).
- Agree to disagree.
- Don’t demonize.
- Agree to agree.
- Don’t frighten people off with too much information.
- Tell stories.
- Be particular. Put a face on issues.
- Laugh—preferably at yourself. If you can’t laugh, smile.
- Fail gracefully. Change is really hard for most people, so you’re not likely to change another person’s convictions.
Savor beauty, humor, and tenderness
Along with protesting, marching and signing petitions, take time to hang out with your friends and make new ones. Be alert to every moment of beauty and humor and savor it.
As we get on with our lives, if we stay alert to opportunities to make a positive difference, we may see many of them. Reaching out to help another and to acknowledge their humanity could make a difference. Every positive interaction helps. This vignette of helping a guy down the Wilson Avenue L stairs gave each of us a lift.
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