March 8, 2003

More on Fluff

- I'm not going to suddenly go all fluffy on you, blog readers. But I am going to make an effort to make this blog more personal. Not less political, but a little more interesting on the personal side. More journal to balance out the stridency.

Part of the difficulty of disliking Bush's governing so much is the fact that there are so many things to complain about, you start to feel like every comment on the day is a shrill criticism. Your entire attitude becomes shrill.

The Utne Reader this month has an article about how the conservatives have been better at getting their message across than the left has. I think part of it has to do with always coming from a position of criticism. I am a critical person, critical of our government. But I really don't want to turn into the people I remember from the Clinton years - the knee-jerk Clintonhaters. That was just plain sad.

I don't know how I can change people's minds. But I do know that even people I disagree with have stories, and people like to tell their stories. Those stories are much more valuable than quoting what someone else wrote in an article, back and forth. That makes listening a valuable skill. You will have a hard time conveying your point of view if you don't know where your audience is coming from.

I'm making a concerted effort to listen. It is, in fact, much easier to disagree if you listen carefully, and find out where it is that you fundamentally differ from someone else.

Posted by James at March 8, 2003 1:38 AM
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