The deepening cultural divide of the last few weeks has greatly concerned me.
The loss of civility in the public forum is atrocious. It exists not just in the media but in social networking forums such as Facebook and Twitter. Somehow it has become acceptable to sensationalize and call another pejorative names-even spewing hateful venom-if it appears it will strenghten one's position.
This ideological bullying is happening on both sides.
In the following TED talk from 2010, Elizabeth Lesser gives some innovative strategies on reaching out to the "other". If you have followed my blog for long, you know I'm a big proponent of connecting with the "other".
Elizabeth recognizes taking the "other" to lunch with the goal of getting to know a person from a group that you have negatively stereotyped.
She encourages us to not "defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen."
Developed trust can result with each side believing in the other's sincerity. But she cautions that each person much drop the pretense of being know-it-alls.
I encourage you to take 11 minutes and listen to her talk.