In case you haven’t noticed, there are some people vying to become the next president of the United States.
How could you NOT, you might ask.
I don’t know, I might answer (lol).
I wanted to get that laugh in, hoping a little levity will help during this contentious time in American politics.
I know things can get ugly – name-calling, nasty barbs, harsh criticism, etc. – but abusive or venomous language does not have to be the norm. We can choose a different path by reviving civility in a time of deepening political divisions.
We can choose to accept the fact that not everyone is going to agree with our political views. We can choose to disagree without disrespect. We can choose to use respectful dialogue, which can translate into modeling the Golden Rule – recognizing the respective dignity of others.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I can be as passionate as the next person about my opinions. But I hope they also know that I am willing to listen intently to someone who does not share my opinion. I listen intently because I believe engaging in dialogue goes beyond exchanging views – it requires a sharing of reasons for the perspective; it requires truth-seeking.
Can the exchange be stormy? Yes. Disagreements can be unsettling. But they don’t have to be toxic, if we come from a place of integrity and common respect with a willingness to listen.
Opinions are important, but how we express them is almost always more significant than what we say.
Paulo Coelho (a Brazilian lyricist and novelist) puts it this way: The world is changed by your example not by your opinion.
What kind of example will you set when expressing your political views?