Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.
Bias and violence seem to be replacing any attempt at resolving differences through exchange of viewpoints and ideas. This is not only seen in the political and international sphere but also among ordinary people. Often, without any critical analysis, misinformation is accepted as truth and closed mindedness resists informed dialogue. Sadly, something disturbing has emerged among us. Why is this happening? Perhaps it always was this way but our ability for instant communication makes it more visible. It is worth pondering in the context of what it means to live as a Christian people in this troubled and critical time.
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 all the information now available which was not known in the past.
I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God.
1 Tm 3:14-16
Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.
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.
The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.
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.
I think it is very difficult today to have a reasoned public discourse on any controversial subject. Certainly, election years present a complicating factor.
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
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.