Friday, December 20, 2013



For anyone who has had to attend a business social or for that matter a PTA meeting (if they even have those still) two topics you never bring up are politics and religion.  The problem is, both have a solid line of division between liberal and conservative and believer and sinner.

The problem is that both topics infringe on the emotional aspect of the discussion and in most individual’s minds emotions trump truth.  Put aside the Democrat vs. Republican debate as well as the Christian vs. Jew vs. Islam vs. sinner debate.  Some of the most heated debates occur within the factions of each party.  Far left liberals spit on center left liberals.  The Tea Party is quick to run a “more conservative” candidate  against a sure winner.  This is called blind Ideology. 

The same holds true in religion.  We don’t need to look at Islam vs. Christianity to find emotional vitriol, just look at how spiteful the far right was when it came to accepting a “Mormon” in 2012.  They stayed home rather than vote against a candidate that is dismantling our country day by day.  In fact, within Christianity, you have Catholics and Protestants.  Within the ranks of both you have splinter factions.  Even in the same church you’ll find members of the same congregation that can’t agree on something. 

Both Topics boil down to one single conflict, stubborn emotions versus biased ignorance.  The Native Americans use to solve inner conflict with a tool called the talking stick.  When there was a conflict amongst the tribes; the heads of state would meet and the speaker would take possession of the “Talking Stick”.  He would not release possession of it until everyone in the tent understood his concerns from HIS point of view.  This is called empathic listening.  It’s listening without reading your own agenda into it.  
Recently a famous speaker wrote a whole chapter in his bestselling book on this very practice.  He said: “Seek first to understand; then to be understood”.  Of course the Native American Nation didn’t have lobbyists or community Organizers making threats every time someone disagreed with them and perhaps we wouldn’t have that problem either if each other’s pundits would seek to understand before seeking to destroy or organize a boycotte.


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