While standing in line at a conference, I listened to the conversations around me. What I heard made me wonder about our evolving world. People seemed to either totally agree on a topic or totally disagree. There was little in the way of discussion or an exchange of ideas – only “yes or no”, “right or wrong”, and “crap or gospel”.
We see this happening in politics, business, religion, entertainment, and even in science (companies who build power lines across forests are the devil, people who protect wildlife are angels – one side or the other).
We don’t talk with people anymore; we talk AT them. We tend to deal in messages (voice mails, emails, faceless comments on social media), not honest communication.
We listen to sound bites on the news and read headlines in the newspaper (or online).
We don’t seem to be discussing issues or mixing with people who have differing opinions: we are reluctant to listen to an opposing point of view. We check in on the surface of issues and only hang out around people who agree with us.
60 Minutes recently presented a segment on a StoryCorps project. Their project One Small Step brings people with different political views together to record conversations about their lives, not politics. Its goal is to reinforce the notion that we have more in common than what divides us. Click HERE to listen.
If we are willing to converse and listen to people who have opinions different from our own, think of what we could learn.
The road is easier together,