Great class on Sunday. I loved the conversations.
Leading up to Thanksgiving and getting together with families, we considered the topics that tend to divide sibling from sibling and child from parent (and, not coincidentally, tear communities apart). We all have topics (you can almost hear the chorus, “Religion, Politics,”) that we just don’t bring up among family, because they cause conflict and bad feelings. But does it have to be that way?
For those who were unable to join us, we practiced conversation about topics we disagree on…including gun control, health care legislation, education priorities…it was lively, believe me! But we spent our time trying to understand the other person, and reflect back what they said, NOT trying to counter arguments and score talking points. Imagine!
Needless to say, it was engaging, everyone was in to it, and it was hard to cut off, because people were enjoying the stimulation. It’s FUN to discuss topics that mean something to us.
So, I had this insight. Most of the talking we do with others, especially family, is about things we DON’T care about – surface things, (think ‘weather, sports, TV, movies’) because they tend to be safe, non-controversial topics. We spend very little time discussing really interesting topics that we care deeply about (think God, love, relationships, education, marriage, etc.), because its uncomfortable, might lead to conflict, might be too revealing, etc.
So Kit posed this challenge…this holiday, try to engage someone in a conversation about some shared value. One strategy: “I’m curious, tell me what you think about _____.”
Then don’t try to counter things you disagree with, but reflect back what they said, “So, you think ________________”
We look forward to hearing the stories next time. Next week there’s no Sunday school, and the following week we will all meet in the Great Hall for Advent Wreath making.
Sumter brought up a website called American’s Elect. Looks like the survey is not up anymore, but here’s the link. http://www.americanselect.org/