I will have to admit that I most frequently read the books and blogs of people I know to already be in line with my thoughts and beliefs. Then, when I do read the words of people or organizations with whom I disagree, it’s tempting to start with a closed mind, hunting for something with which to argue.
In How to Restore Sanity to Our Political Conversations, Meryl Runion points out the importance of first really listening to others, and not just discounting everything they have to say … before they even say it. The fact is, we might find more in common if we take a little risk and actually listen to each other.
Earlier this year, several experts on a Time magazine panel — gathered to discuss social media challenges — commented that “social media is posing new challenges and opportunities for journalism, activism, and government.” They pointed out that there is a danger to democracy when people are eager to only talk with people who think and believe like they do … and then ignore those who are not like minded.
The Time study — and Runion’s book — are reminders that instead of just reading voices that say what we would already say, we should read a range of opinions. It’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to ignore each other … or be hateful.
by Marti Williams, Publisher