The First Thing
Who got Trump elected President of the United States? We did. How did we do that? We assumed our foes were worthless and incapable. We assumed that they could do nothing to stop up, and that they would have no urge to stop us. In our arrogance we urged them to take steps against us, and that included Trump’s election.
We were fools. And as long as we refuse to accept our responsibility we continue to be fools. Our first step in ending the chaos is to accept responsibility and to take effective steps against the despot.
Our next step is to start listening. For our greatest failure was, and is, to assume that our foes have nothing valid to say. Everyone has a voice. A voice we need to listen to. The validity of what they have to say means nothing, for it needs to be addressed and not dismissed as having nothing to tell us. Mistakes are not dealt with by ignoring them, but by addressing them, and addressing them in a way that acknowledges those who express them as human beings and not empty space.
You don’t correct a mistake by just saying that it is wrong. You need first to demonstrate that it is wrong, then to acknowledge that the one who made the mistake had a reason for making it. And then to show them that there is a better answer, that they can accept it, and that this acceptance will not degrade them as human beings in any real way outside the fools who will not consider their own error.
It is not enough to say to another that he is wrong without first letting him know his error and how he can make corrections. And that he can correct his mistake without making himself less in his own eyes. There will always be those who will think of him less for admitting he was wrong, but what he thinks of himself is what matters. That means being sympathetic to him, and that means first listening to him.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be cruel, but first you need to listen and to demonstrate through how you address his mistake that you have listened and that you are sympathetic.
Those are our first two steps; the tirst to accept that we made mistakes, the second to start listening to those who oppose us. There is more to be done, but let us start with the first two steps.
The more we need to do will come in later posts.