There is a certain grace about listening to another with attention. An exchange of viewpoints and different ideas broadens perspectives and enhances understanding. Relationships are built. When attempts at resolving differences by sharing factual information are blocked by baseless opinion, communication is not possible. Sadly, often, deliberate misinformation is accepted as truth, and facts are viewed with suspicion. This is seen in the political and international sphere but also among people who profess their belief in the life of Jesus. Up to date scholarly interpretation of scripture is rejected and uninformed interpretation is defended as revealed truth. Positions harden and the effects spiral outward. It is worth pondering the implications of this in the context of what it means to live as a Christian people in this critical time for our nation.
Christ, you proclaimed yourself to be the way and the truth. May we be open to your message.
Model civility to those with whom you come into daily contact. In conversation express your views with respect for the views of others and with an open mind. Stretch your thinking to include the information that is now available which was not known in the past. View TV news with a critical mind.
Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values and aspirations become all the more apparent. Diversity is no longer seen as a threat, but as a source of enrichment.
The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.
I think it is very difficult today to have a reasoned public discourse on any controversial subject. Certainly, election years present a complicating factor.
For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.
It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
Henry David Thoreau
It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.
It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.
I’m not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude…there’s got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.
John M. Barrie
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions.