She goes on to say, "Otherising" is the dangerous act of turning someone into the enemy just because he or she looks different, prays different, speaks different, or thinks different. Some of history's most tragic events—wars, genocides, terrorist acts—began with ordinary people demonizing other ordinary people." Not to mention politicians and political parties. This must end. We must work together to solve the issues we all face together. And one of the ways to help it end is to practice really listening.
Lesser suggests, "Agree to these ground rules: Be curious, conversational and real. Don't persuade or interrupt. Listen, listen, listen.”
To create a growing relationship of any kind, between friends, partners, neighbours or co-workers, we must learn to communicate, consult and cooperate. How much more then, do those humans charged with governing, need to learn and ceaselessly practice these arts.
Sometimes the process helps the other to modify their opinions. Sometimes we modify ours. Whatever happens, there is value just in the exchange.
It's an illusion that there is an us/them. We are, all of us, spiritual (nothing to do with religion) beings having a human experience as Teillard of Chardin so eloquently said. Honesty calls us to "recognize illusions and self-deceptions, to gently let them go." Even to admit mistakes at the risk of disappointing or angering another. All of us need to be seen, heard and respected. The whole process, the clash of differing opinions, when done respectfully and openly, can result in the spark of truth. It moves us forward, to a new place.
I would love to listen to you - to your ideas and to your concerns. What you'd like to see in North Cowichan. If I take a position that you don't agree with - talk to me.
Who knows, maybe you'll help me see things your way. At the very least we will get to know one another a little. Let's keep communicating and build real community.