Brandon and I have always said that we wanted to make sure that deep, meaningful conversations between people with different views were at the center of what InkleDeux is all about. If you’re not sure what I mean by meaningful conversation, we had a great podcast about this in depth, but the simple explanation basically is a discussion about anything that has a major impact on our lives and the lives of others. A conversation like this can be uncomfortable and difficult, even in the best of times. What about now, though? When the world seems to be finding brand new rails to jump off of, and passions are running high, and most of our conversations happen through some kind technology, losing so many of the physical and vocal tells that add nuance and context to our words.
Honestly, we find ourselves in an incredibly tough situation. With everything that’s happening, it’s obviously way more difficult to engage each other, and it’s also way easier to isolate ourselves in an echo chamber of agreement by only having a conversation with people who are like minded. At the same time, the stakes are getting higher and higher, and for the sake of any lasting unity in our communities and nation, we need to be talking more, not less. Now, here’s where I insert the disclaimer about knowing when to call it quits. Engaging in the conversation even after it’s become clear that the other person is either incapable or uninterested in trying to understand your point of view isn’t noble, it’s foolish.
We have to remember, though, to hold ourselves to that same standard. I have to constantly ask myself why I’m saying/writing/posting the things I am. Am I asking a question because I want to understand the other person? Or am I trying to set an elaborate trap to prove my own brilliance? Ultimately, after all, while a conversation requires at least two people, we can only control our side of it. Let’s make sure that we’re contributing to the positive. Let’s aim to understand where people are coming from and focus less on trying to win an argument.