Have you noticed that it’s become harder to have calm discussions about controversial issues? People seem to have more hardened opinions and less interest in viewpoints not in agreement with our own. Recently, a respected pastor shared with his congregation a New Year’s resolution that he has practiced for years. At the beginning of the year, he selects a “hot button” issue that he really doesn’t know much about but that gives him a feeling of discomfort, confusion or defensiveness. He resolves to open his mind and heart to studying this topic and finds good information that explains both sides of the question. He thinks it over carefully and plans a way to share how his opinion has developed. This year, could you take up the challenge of focused study and thought on a fraught issue (e,g. immigration, women’s equality, free speech) and be ready to discuss your opinion with others in a respectful way?
By Mary Jackle, OSB