In this political climate (at least for the U.S.), the ideas of what is correct, wrong, intelligent, stupid, fair, or bigoted are so debated that I often feel at loss of what to think. Not only that, but the mere concept of truth is challenged. Who should I listen to in a world of fake news, biased sources, and fundamentally differing life perspectives?
And not only is everything questionable, it’s also quite controversial. Differing views are rarely considered as an attempt for deeper understanding. They are rarely met with compassion… often only vitriol.
We need to figure out how to have an honest discussion with each other. In the fight for acceptance and justice, it is difficult not to lash out at what seems counter to progress. But we need to discover how to listen and understand different points of view. Though some viewpoints are blatantly foul, many others have seeds of wisdom that aren’t readily apparent.
The initial step forward seems to be a wholesome viewpoint, one that takes in other opinions compassionately. This means analyzing who we listen to and how we discover leaders to follow.
How do we find informants for our stances? Are there any streamlined ways of finding articulate experts?
We are so drowned by the massive amount of information that it’s hard to find individuals that can genuinely, compassionately present an argument. There aren’t many platforms promoting a clean and compassionate dialogue either.
In places heavily reliant on technology, the struggle to find community discourse is huge. My experiences within suburbia have shown me that it’s largely a desolate landscape, void of much genuine communal discussion.
It’s apparent to many that online environments such as Facebook haven’t seemed to provide an effective platform for discourse either. Their algorithms skew feeds and lead users toward a lacking environment. Users no longer experience a holistic depiction of what is happening. Instead, they see cut-outs of what they like. The deepening divide that results leads not to community figures we can rally around and discuss with, but instead to figures that deride and get support in a vacuum.
Sam Harris is one individual who I think excellently walks the line between having a serious, open-ended discourse and establishing a position of his own. His podcast, Waking Up with Sam Harris, is a weekly discussion with a recent author or prominent figure on a certain subject. Whether you agree with all his stances, I find the reasoning and patience he has in discussions to be fantastic. The goal for him is to have an honest and reflective discourse. That’s not something I come across often. We need more patience and reflection within our arguing.
There’s an opportunity for a platform that creates real discourse. It needs to be clear, accessible, intuitive, and popular. It needs to promote leaders of industries, communities, disciplines, and subject matters. It should bring users together and foster constructive discourse. I’m sick of television debates that only present two extremes. Show me the nuance.
In the current atmosphere, this seems almost utopian as an idea. But it also seems necessary.
Having leaders that can articulate ideas and back their perspectives with experiences, study, and hard work is an extremely valuable thing. And having a place to hear those leaders out, discuss the points being made, and discuss the rationale behind the arguments would be a wondrous gift to modern democracy.
If you know of such a platform that promotes thoughtful leaders and honest discussion please let me know. If nobody can find one… I urge an entrepreneurial spirit to create one.
There is not one person who can provide a completely holistic viewpoint and perspective. The much healthier and reflective path is to find several different perspectives, diverse in their background, to listen to and seek advice from.
Do you have mentors and leaders that have given you a sense of honest discourse? If not, I’d encourage you to find some. Look around your community, throughout the internet, and on your media platforms to challenging opinions. This way, we can all begin to think in a reflective way.
If you have people you follow for poignant thoughts and different ideas let me know. Comment below and I’d love to check them out.