This world is a mess…..but we have to start somewhere.

I’m really saddened by all the stuff going on in our world and country right now.

I don’t know what to do about this big mess other than try to do my small part to be better and do better.

I’m trying to do a better job of listening to others and hearing them and their viewpoint. I’m trying not to get defensive but really listen and try to see their side.

I’m trying to realize that people are more than just one opinion or one political viewpoint. People are complex individuals with a lot of things coming together to form the person they are. I’m trying to respect the fact that people are more than just one thing I may disagree with them on.

I’m trying to get better at expressing my viewpoint in a manner that respects the opinions of others. This means keeping the discussion civil, realizing the other person is entitled to their opinion and may have arrived to that opinion in a very complex manner that I can’t see on the surface.

I’m trying not to be scared and stay quiet because I’m afraid what I say will upset somebody else. We need to have discussions and hear each other in a calm civil way. It’s not good for me to just stay shut up in my house hearing only people who think like me. It’s not good for me to stay quiet because I’m afraid of upsetting someone.

If and when I do speak up and disagree with someone in a calm civil manner, I can expect they won’t like it. People today don’t seem to like to hear anything that isn’t right in line with their own thinking. I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past, but I’m making an effort to listen and not let the defensiveness set in. As long as I speak in a respectful manner, I should still speak up. I shouldn’t let fear of others’ reactions silence me. As long as I keep it respectful, they can be responsible for their own reaction and I can accept whatever their reaction is.

I can still love people who don’t agree with me on everything. It’s ok.

I can expect that I won’t be able to do all of the above perfectly. I am human and flawed. When I make a mistake, I can forgive myself, make an apology if necessary, and move on. No need to dwell on it and beat myself up for days.

These are just some things I’m going to try to live by for a while. We’ve got to somehow learn to have respectful dialogue about the things that divide us. This seems to be a lost art in our country today. I’m going to start here in order to take a step and do my part.

We have to start somewhere.

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