I have a little tangent to go on.
I am frequently given the “compliment” that I’m “the one level-headed liberal” that the compliment-grantor has ever spoken to. While I really appreciate that these people feel that they could have a dialogue with me, I have a lot of concerns with all of the subtext in that statement.
I think that a lot of those people view me as some sort of “moderate” or middle-ground person. As though….if I were a “true” liberal, I would be incapable of rational conversation. But that is not the case at all. I’m not an exception AND I’m about as liberal as they come. I gladly take on any of the qualities that a label of “bleeding-heart politically-correct liberal hippy snowflake” imply.
The fact that I’m sometimes viewed this way is bothersome for a couple of reasons. First….People REALLY need to start looking information from multiple sources and/or ones that are not as biased. I am NOT the only level-headed, kind, informed, or reasonable speaker on these issues.
Fortunately- this problem is something that can be at least partially fixed. The first step is….to stop listening to FOX and CNN. Please. They are so biased. Media bias is a HUGE problem right now, so I’m attaching a simple but helpful chart that delineates some of the major news sources and which way they lean.
THEN….after you’ve vetted whatever media you’re consuming for bias and know that it isn’t written/filmed by people who are essentially propagandists….make sure that they’ve cited their sources and that those sources are credible and accurate themselves! It DOES take more work. But being informed is SO important. It is dangerous and irresponsible to consume and then spread information before you know if it’s true or credible.
The next thing that is driving me a little nuts (and I’ve mentioned it before) is there are a lot of people who are closing others off to learning more about these topics by biting everyone’s heads off all the time. YES…IDEALLY….people would be receptive to changing their minds and stay calm themselves when faced with information that challenges them…..but they probably won’t. And if you can manage to just stay with them and stay calm through their frustration…they’re much more likely to eventually listen and learn.
I KNOW that sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we can’t help but get overly-passionate about something we’re sharing. Particularly if it’s based around a core value that we have. I also KNOW that some people are beyond changing their minds on certain topics, so it sometimes doesn’t feel worth it to stay calm and kind. No matter what you say– whether it’s calm, evidence-based, fair, or anything else…there are some people who won’t budge….or at least not enough. Trust me. I DO know that. I’m not unrealistically optimistic.
But there are some times when it’s worth it to try to swallow your feelings a little bit in order to engage in calm and respectful dialogue with someone else. And I’m not saying that as a peacemaker….I’m more saying that as a strategist. It’s just not effective to always run into an argument full force, without allowing the other person space for their feelings or thoughts. Knowing when it’s effective to have a calm conversation with someone is its own skill and obviously can vary a lot based on the person and circumstance….but here are a few examples of when I’ve found it to be a much better choice to pursue courteous conversation.
- An instance where thing you don’t agree with doesn’t DIRECTLY impact you or a dear loved one.
- When the thing you’re arguing about is a belief system/thought-process/perspective and NOT a specific behavior or action that is occurring right at that moment.
- When the person you’re arguing with is someone who is clearly more misinformed/ignorant than an actually hateful person.
Alllllllll of that said- I would like to be perfectly clear…
My choice to pursue rational and kind discussions are not due to a lack of conviction or fear of confrontation.
Everything I write and the rest of this site as a whole….is basically going to be snowflake central. But…it’s going to be a super informed, research-based, educated, empathetic, and respectful snowflake central. Or I’m going to try at least. And my next blog post is going to be (at least partially) about abortion. So you’ll get to see me “put my money where my mouth is” on one of the more controversial topics anybody ever gets into very soon.
Stay safe and healthy everyone ❤