As we approach the birthday of the relatively young United States of America, I would like to advocate taking some time to collectively sit down and have a respectful dialog with each other about where we are as a people, how we got here, and where we want to go. I’m talking of course about our basic values, our economic and cultural situation, and both constraints and opportunities relating to our future behavior.
It is counterproductive to try to force, cajole, or deceive others into accepting any particular point of view. Indeed, we seem to have wasted a lot of energy, alienated a lot of potential friends, and generally created an unhealthy and uncomfortable environment for ourselves and others both here and around the world. Polarization has mutated into exponential fragmentation in the discussion of ideas and the activity that makes them real. When we choose not to respect other people, whether or not we accept their ideas, we inadvertently create adversaries, or at least sow enough doubt in their minds to keep them from considering what we have to say.
I hope in my writings that I have conveyed both a point of view (okay, maybe several of them), as well as a willingness to entertain the views of others. That is certainly my intent. Being an “idea explorer” means not being too comfortable with the ideas you currently have. Testing, modifying, and sharing those ideas is critical to developing a set that might have some practical as well as entertainment value. What you have at any one time is simply a snapshot of what experience and judgment has given you to date; it is not the end-all, nor should it be portrayed that way.
Please consider taking a deep breath and listening to those around you. Share what you think, and be willing to change. To do so is an important step toward success both as individuals and as a community.