As you may know, I usually pick a theme for each year, and explore it through blog posts at least once a month. Last year was #Let’sThinkAbout, and I wrote about critical thinking. This year, my theme is #Connections.
One thing we learned last year is that a good way to change someone’s mind about prejudices is to make a connection with someone of that group. It’s hard to think of someone as less than human when you see how human they really are. Connections can also help us feel less alone in the world, and lead us to live more fulfilled lives. So I’ve decided to explore different kinds of connections and celebrate how people are making connections with each other throughout the world.
Today’s example is the group CommonSense American. They train people in civil discourse and host “civility conversations” to find common ground. I heard about this from the Washington Post article by Katie Zezima “Is it possible to resurrect civility amid a tsunami of toxicity? This group is trying.”
According to the article, Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer said “the efforts have included weekly discussions at breweries and coffee shops among people holding disparate views. The institute has filmed interactions between people with differing backgrounds and opinions to show how they can respectfully disagree and find common ground. It is looking for a streaming service to distribute the series.
‘Once they’re in an environment where they meet, they have more in common than expected,’ she said.”