Quietly Observant, but Equally Effective
July 31, 2017
A few days ago I watched as two acquaintances bantered back and forth about everything from sports to food. However, at one point in the conversation, one made a reference to politics, Trump specifically. I believe he was suggesting he was a supporter. I happened to know with certainty that the person he spoke with was a staunch Democrat. I listened with the intent to see how my friend would manage the situation. What happened left me speechless.
My democrat friend was like Buddha, a crystal in the chaos. He listened, nodded his head, and with silence made his position known. His demeanor shifted from receptive to neutral. This was the miracle. How does one change an attitude without offending or suppressing someone’s opinion?
I realized that the key was his neutrality. He didn’t go to negative. He didn’t go to forcefully against. He didn’t even make a reference to his own party. He simply listened without judgment.
As a result, the conversation quickly changed back to subjects that were, indeed, interesting to both.
This was a perfect example of avoiding a political argument in which no one wins. We all have gone through this since 45 was elected. I have a few friends that will not be convinced otherwise that Donald Trump is the man for the job, and everyone else are Swamp Swimmers. I’ve known, because I’ve talked, I listened, and I’ve asked pertinent questions—sometimes with judgments and other times not.
I left a couple of conversations with friends that needed to be repaired because I was simply distraught at my friend’s choices, instead of being a friend and supporting their right to choose.
As people who are in favor of the best for people, great healthcare, rights for all downtrodden, money for the arts, taxes that are equally relevant for the poor and rich, and simple compassion, we must be more alert to who is listening and who is simply fighting for the sake of holding a position.
I don’t believe we can sway people who are on one side or the other. I don’t believe that I have seen even one person admit that his or her decision to vote republican or democrat was incorrect. Everyone I know is standing by his or her choice. I’m okay with that. However, I want to put my energy where it counts.
- We can look for opportunities to voice our opinions to elected officials online and in person.
- We can go to protests with the intent to have a voice.
- We can lead lives that continue to be in favor of our democratic or republican views.
- Lastly, we can always hold peace in the hearts of all as the main goal, no matter the situation or circumstance, as my friend did in the initial example of this blog.
Have an amazing day!