Broken Conversations

I’m not a political person. I tried. But since I’m non-confrontational by nature, can listen and analyze and can see value in each side, there seems to be no spot for me.

More us than them, at this point.

What we tend to hear about through the media are the extremes. Conservative and liberal alike. And there’s been a lot of hatred spewed the last few months. It’s rife on the social networks. If you don’t agree with some view, you’re branded as anything from intolerant to some variation of the f word.

I listened to Romney’s acceptance speech last night. It’s easy to give speeches, especially if you have a speech writer. I could give an speech accepting the nomination from my political party to run for president. A bunch of well-turned promises put forth with energy, enthusiasm and charisma. I have enough acting skills for that.

Putting that to work after the elected takes office requires more than acting and a pretty words.

Next week will be Obama’s speech. He’ll do the same thing. Surrounded by his supporters, he’ll spin well-meaning promises into votes. Whether or not enough remains to be seen.

It’s a broken system. Maybe because the country is too big. Maybe because we have lost the art of conversation. We no longer sit down and listen. We stand, shake our finger, call a name, and walk away.

You’re against abortion? You’re a woman hater!

No, I want more women to be born.

You’re for gay marriage? You hate families.

Gay people want to have families, too.

I’m not proposing to know the answers. I’m just saying we need to sit down and listen to each other and stop behaving like children whom we try to teach to behave like we don’t.

The only minds ever changed by name calling are weak ones. I believe it’s unwise to be so single-minded about a cause that you can’t even listen to another person’s argument against it. Listening doesn’t mean you’re weak or you have to change your mind. It means you care.

I’m not sure this post is saying what I want it to. But I’m tired of the hateful language and immature stances of leaders and citizens.

This is my call to action: Listen with love. Speak with love.

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