Why does every issue in the world right now feel so polarizing?

Why do people feel ‘you are either with me or you are against me!’?

Why do people demonize others for having a different perspective?

Why won’t anyone listen to another person’s viewpoint without getting offended?

Why do people SCREAM more than they listen?

The ONLY way progress can made – on any issue – is through open dialogue.

Don’t get me wrong, I love passion.

And I respect people that are passionate about their beliefs. I know I am about mine.

But you should be able to effectively express yourself without getting angry, self-righteous, or petulant!

Getting upset robs you of your emotional power to think clearly.

And don’t forget… ‘He who angers you, owns you.’

It’s ALWAYS better to stay cool, poised, and composed.

I realize that is much easier said than done… especially when discussing sensitive topics and personal issues. But that’s when staying calm is even more important.

I have very strong opinions on how our country is navigating the current COVID-19 crisis and how we can effectively make measured progress on the horrific systemic racism that continues to hinder our nation.

I hold equally staunch convictions about the pending presidential election, religion, gun control, abortion, feminism, vaccinations, drug legalization, LGTBQ rights, capital punishment, and overall political correctness.

And of course I’d like to believe my perspectives are based solely on facts, common sense, and my own observations and life experience.

But I acknowledge that everyone else feels the exact same way about their position!

And I have the humility to admit that I have blind spots and that I most certainly don’t know everything there is to know on any given issue (EX: I’m not a medical professional so my opinions on COVID-19 are just that… opinions!).

I also understand that I can’t possibly understand how it feels to be black, to be female, or to be gay. So I don’t pretend to. Instead I aim to learn as much as I can from them.

I’m very open to having a respectful discussion with any reasonable person that has different life experiences than me… that has a different perspective than me… or that adamantly disagrees with me.

That’s how you grow.

That’s how you learn.

That’s how you develop.

In fact, I intentionally seek out books, videos, podcasts, and documentaries by people that have opposing views from mine.

I want to have open discussions with people that do not think, look, walk, or talk like me.

And I listen closely.

I don’t argue.

I don’t get upset.

I don’t get offended.

Instead, I try to understand their perspective.

That doesn’t mean I agree with them.

But learning to respectfully disagree with someone and still have a kind, productive discussion is a sign of intellectual and emotional maturity.

And that is needed more than ever right now…