Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Conservatives Should Learn to Better Dialogue and Interact With Others

It interests me how difficult it can be for conservatives to sometimes enter into dialogue about issues. I see evidence of it on facebook. I have seem evidence of it in Bible study where the more conservative teacher is often not open to discussion or challenge. I have observed it in other settings.

Conservatives are less open to developing new ideas. They are more certain of the answers they believe. They are less interested in questions and more interested in their own answers. They are more rigid and less willing to hear out alternative ways of viewing the world.

Conservatives rely of their own rigid interpretation of the Constitution and of the Bible and are less open to the interpretation of others. Actually, many times, they don't believe in interpretation at all. They often view the words and phases in both documents literally, not understanding that others have interpretations or views of their own of the same words and phrases.

Openness to the attitude, values, opinions, and beliefs of others is essential to both moving the world forward, to developing new and better ideas and solutions to problems. It is essential to peaceful co-existence in a diverse world. The willingness and ability to engage with others in rational, constructive debate and discussion is an important human attribute, and it is an important "emotionally intelligent" attribute. It is the only way to create an atmosphere where growth, solution, and creativity can flourish.

Regardless of our views, my hope is that we all, especially the more rigid, "absolutest" conservative, strive to listen to and respect the views of others, and that we learn to dialogue more constructively and effectively with our brothers and sisters........creating what the great humanist and psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers called "a process of becoming."

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