Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

What we can do

With thanks to Donna Gibney, here are some suggestions:
• Breathe before we speak: We all have prejudices and preferences, but knee-jerk reactions, though sometimes satisfying to us, shut out all possibility of conversation. Let’s always breathe at least once and look each other in the eye for a few seconds before we speak.
• Never use labels: They’re great for organizing our Stuff, but they way over-simplify us human beings. Political labels, religious labels, racial labels, gender labels, age labels, education labels — none of them do the speaker or the person spoken to credit or allow for individuality and personal dignity.  Let’s look each other in the eye, say hello, and be willing to listen a lot to what each other as individuals care about.
• Realize that we all really want the same thing — to be happy and feel safe: It sounds simplistic, but isn’t it true? Sure, my individual take on that may differ from yours, but if we could talk about what we value and why and how we hope to achieve those things, we might just agree on more than we expect.
Realize that hate and anger are often based on fear: I might be afraid to be wrong, afraid someone won’t like or respect me, afraid of being taken advantage of, afraid of losing something I value, afraid of something or someone simply because they are different and/or unfamiliar. We all are afraid from time to time, and we can choose to share our fears in civil conversation in hopes of getting rid of them, or we can shut ourselves away from any hope of that through hate and anger.
Can we talk?
Mary Fahnestock-Thomas
Hamilton

One Response to What we can do
  1. Howard
    February 1, 2017 | 3:53 pm

    If Donna Gibney really is the source of these suggestions, I recommend she take her own advice. Based on their letters to this and other papers, the Gibney’s might be the most fearful, hateful and angry people in this valley.

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