If you follow politics in any way, you know that the State of the Union address is often the catalyst for interesting conversations – specifically between the various factions in Washington. Tuesday’s SOTU address by President Obama (see full transcript here) provided plenty of opportunities for people to get on their soap box and engage the general public on their version of what the President said.
There is in lies the problem …
We all hear what we want to hear and we certainly interpret what is said based on the perspective we have. We have, as a nation, lost the ability to engage in a meaningful conversation about the important matter facing each and every one of us. In fact, we’ve become experts at criticizing anyone who simply disagrees with the point of view we have.
The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation, not overturning it. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
We must find a way to get back to the true spirit of conversation as suggested by Mr. Bulwer-Lytton. Imagine the possibilities if we simply decided to build on the ideas espoused by our neighbors instead of dismissing them.
Our leaders in Washington are clearly only worried about their re-election and getting them to buy into this idea may not be realistic.We, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about playing to our base. We can be agents of change and change the tone and tenor of conversations where we live. In the process, we’ll quickly find that through conversations, relationships are formed; knowledge is shared; and, more importantly, that life happens and finds meaning.
Be well and make it a great day!