Sunday, October 8, 2017

Why can't we talk?

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - 
“No! You daren’t say that!” one spouse warns another, a parent chides a child, or a neighbour mumbles to a coffee klatch.

The subjects we choose to make off-limits shut conversation down. The range of taboo topics gets broader. Conversation becomes more mundane.

I’m not thinking about those times when a person intentionally wants to argue. I am thinking about how polarized we’ve become in our socializing. It is like declaring “I know I’m right! Don’t try to change my mind!”

There’s a difference between having someone try to change our thinking, and taking a look at the different sides of an issue. How else do we develop deeper understandings if we don’t talk things through?

Like the nervous tortoise, our withdrawal doesn’t speak well for survival in a world that’s alive and constantly changing.

Whether it’s about matters of politics or religion, has to do with changes in our climate, marijuana legislation, gender-based issues or the current election candidates – there are a myriad of issues that impact our lives today. Conversation should include give-and-take. It’s the bamboo (which bends) that survives with ease. Look for ways to find compromise. Healthy conversation leads to healthy living and healthy community building.

As a Biblical student, I’m constantly amazed at how the ancients so rightly defined human nature. The greatest human temptation is to think we “know both good and evil” (have all the answers like the gods). If we think we are always right and have no need for anything more, that’s when we lose our sense of civility.

On the other hand, the wise ones advise, if we talk things through, especially the hard things, and pass our stories from one generation to the next “so that children unborn” can better understand how things have evolved, they shall have hope. They shall be able to put their trust in a God who is compassionate.

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