Never before have I needed to discuss what’s going on in our nation’s history like I do now.
And never before has it been so difficult to do so.
Let me state this differently: never has such an independent president rallied such a huge swath of the American people such that his departure has felt so apocalyptic.
And never have the primary means of public dialogue become so inadequate for meaningful exchange.
When tempers flare, there is little room for dialogue.
If I am angry, my emotions compel me to express, not to listen.
There is a place for persuasive speaking. Otherwise, we’d be convinced of nothing. The press, the pulpit, the lectern, and social media serve this purpose well.
There is also a place for reflection. Otherwise, we’d be won over to every conviction except our own. The press, the pulpit, the lectern, and social media don’t serve this purpose well at all.
This is the urgent need for our time: space to talk. Space to listen. Space to be heard. Space for patient and careful dialogue. Space to grapple. Space to be honest. Safe space to be honest. Space to try out an argument and if in the end its premise is faulty or logic erroneous, to scrap it and find a better argument without losing your space!
Do you have this space? If not, find it! Find it among family members, among friends, in a meetup group, with office buddies, in a classroom, in a discussion group – wherever! Without it, you will be forever stuck in your preconceptions, trapped in the vestiges of how you’ve always thought, orbiting around a center that becomes increasingly alienated from reality and community.
With it, you will grow, you will learn, you will understand, you will discover how you can be a part of the solution, and you will feel connected to this country’s destiny and people once more.
Find your space!