Sunday, August 31, 2008

Neighborly Talk

It is said that people should refrain from talking politics and religion with others. Why? I presume so there won't be a fight that ensues over differing opinions. But must we really avoid these subjects even when we disagree?

I know that I get pretty emotional when talking about things I am pasionate about. My relationship with God and the social and political issues that I deem important can cause me to try to convince others to see things from my perspective. I can get forceful and judgemental if the other person seems to reject my thoughts and beliefs without really hearing what I have to say. I admit that isn't a good way to win them over.

So I am trying to learn the art of discussing these topics with an open mind and a loving heart. I try to shake off the intense feelings that grip me and relax and enjoy the exchange of ideas. It is sad to me, however, that few people really do want to discuss politics and religion except when they are of a like mind.

We seem to limit our knowledge and understanding when we set up fences and then won't even have a neighborly talk while we stand on either side. Who knows what might happen if we could love our neighbor and share more than the fence with him!

I want to learn how to speak with truth wrapped in civility and kindness so my neighbor will be happy to listen. Then maybe my neighbor, too, will treat me with the same respect!
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