I have been participating in some difficult conversations of late, and enjoying the opportunity for growth they present.
Sometimes, my very full house strains a little at the seams of passionate debate and I think about how lucky we are to live among people who care so deeply, express themselves so freely and listen with such care.
Our conversations do not always end in consensus, but they do elicit empathy and a broader understanding of the world around.
“Could you just read this?” I asked my daughter Molly when we arrived at a recent impasse.
“I will, if you read this,” she replied.
So, we both spent some time in the valuable pursuit of perspective and in equal enjoyment of elegant prose.
We did not resolve our difference of opinion, but we did affirm our mutual respect.
Sometimes I think people cheat themselves out of necessary conversations because they think the only successful ones end in agreement.
How stagnant our world would be, how boring its conversations, if we all agreed on everything.
The trick, of course, is to maintain that mutual respect and to treat yourself to the refreshing opportunity of an open mind.
I hope and pray that many Americans will accept the gift of difficult conversations in the coming days and listen thoughtfully even if they do not always agree.