from Unsplash jesse-brack

from Unsplash jesse-brack

DEFINITION

A reasonable is a person dedicated to:
    ~empathetic listening in conversation
    ~a willingness to become uncomfortable
       during the pursuit of understanding
    ~vulnerability of self and ideas

IMPORTANCE

We are a polarized society with fewer people in the middle where compromise and action happen. It is imperative that we build middle ground, a bridge, that will solve the pressing problems our world is facing.

 from unsplash sonja langford

from unsplash sonja langford

EXCERPT FROM BOOK

When I walked down the hall from the classroom and entered conversation with others, it became clear that societally we were less intentional about communication and, perhaps, were taking all the avenues of inputs and outputs for granted. When the internet opened up the global library, it was like a firehose of information, and nearly impossible at that speed to figure out what was worthy and creditable. It hurt when we stood in front of the stream and it knocked us over. We built throttles through filters so we could narrow the stream, decrease the intensity, and get closer to the information we were seeking. It was a brilliant and detrimental tool we created. We could decrease the pressure of information to a trinkle from only the sources that resonated with our current values and eliminate any counter arguments.

We created an insular chamber in which only our current viewpoints bounced off the walls echoing and validating our stance over and over. These echo chambers are pulling people apart, perpetuating either/or arguments, fueling anger, resentment, and fear. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to destroy what we do not understand so we preserve what is known, even if it isn’t good for us. Afraid of spiders? Kill them, even if it is a daddy long legs, that actually isn’t a spider at all and doesn’t bite. Afraid of snakes? Kill them. Even if it is a garter snake, that isn’t dangerous to humans and takes care of small vermin and insects in the garden. But when we don’t understand something, and we react without thought or on assumptions (all spiders and snakes are bad), we destroy and create divides.

RESOURCES

We have a global think tank of individual thinkers, researchers, and professors writing and speaking about ways to combat polarization. 

David Logan, Tribal Leadership
ted talk

Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness
ted talk

Graham Greene, The Destructors

Thomas Friedman, Thank You for Being Late
MPR Discussion

Robb Willer
ted talk