November 1, 2012 by
Categories: Acceptance, Hello World

This past weekend I spent a total of 14 hours alone in my car. While in my car, I did a number of things. I paid attention to the road and my surroundings. I listened to music, sang aloud, and occasionally did an awkward seatbelt dance. I also listened to a number of programs on NPR.

One of the programs that I listened to  was On Being with Krista Tippett. The topic of discussion during this particular taping was a civil conversation between political bridge people. Krista moderated the discussion between former Republican Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, a prominent Democratic economist.

I will be the first to admit. I am worn out by all of the political advertisements and campaigning that seem to be pretty much everywhere this election year. This political conversation, however, was different. It was truly civil…a respectful conversation between two people at opposite ends of the political spectrum talking about a very heated issue, the national debt crisis.

It was the first time in a long time that I felt engaged. I was pulled into this conversation by what was being said but mostly on how it was being said.

At the end of the program, I found myself disappointed to realize that the conversation had come to an end. Both Pete and Alice (by the end of the program, I felt as if we were on a first name basis) had done a remarkable job of presenting the facts, their feelings, and their opinions without degrading or harassing each other. The conversation was truly respectful.

In our lives, there are so many conversations that often end in someone’s feelings being hurt or irreparable damage done to an important relationship. What if we were all able to step back and learn something from conversations such as the one held between Pete and Alice? What if we were able to disagree and keep it at that instead of moving to an extreme that only ends up damaging something or someone that we hold dear?

Disagreement often moves us forward. After all, if we all shared the same worldview, life would be pretty boring and very little would be accomplished. It is the respect part that is all too frequently missing.

A link to On Being with Krista Tippett, Pete Domenici, and Alice Rivlin:



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