We aren’t all walking around with signs on us telling people what we are dealing with or revealing our pasts. Like many, I’m also guilty of sitting on my high horse from my social media dais making proclamations about issues that I know very little about without getting curious about why my opponents feel so different from me. I’m guilty of seeing myself as superior in my knowledge and understanding of the world around me. I’m guilty of looking down on those who do not see the world as I do. But what if, instead of just attacking those who we disagree with, we just started by asking “why do you feel this way?” What if we committed to being more inquisitive? What if we started by having a conversation instead of just making assumptions?
Meaningful change always starts when we seek to understand those who are different from us, in beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. I believe it is worth the effort, a way to break up the tribalism that haunts every corner of American society. I don’t want to see what we will become if we don’t try.
But I want to challenge my friends to listen to each other. If someone shares an experience with you that contradicts all that you think you know about the world, it may be a good time to ask questions and listen to answers without feedback. It may be time to step out of the echo chamber and into the unknown.