Monday, May 3, 2010

Expand Your World View....

Posted by Terry McNichols

I am quoting myself from a prior post:
How much mayhem do we have ahead of us if we can't learn the simple lessons of how to agree to disagree, have meaningful, respectful discussions, and take the views of the other person into consideration as having equal validity to our own?   
Who knew that President Obama would use my thoughts to speak to the graduating class of the University of Michigan?  No matter what your political views, it is hard to argue with this content from Obama's speech:
For if we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized and set in our ways. And that will only reinforce and even deepen the political divides in this country. But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from.

This of course requires that we all agree on a certain set of facts to debate from, and that is why we need a vibrant and thriving news business that is separate from opinion makers and talking heads. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

Still, if you're someone who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you're a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not often be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship.
(Read full text here.)
I challenge you to expand your world view by listening to those who hold different opinions than your own!
(Photo by s fllaw, shared via Flickr)

1 comment:

kenm said...

Makes me really happy we elected him. He is inspiring. He's a great thinker, an articulate speaker, and a great voice for reason in an age of extremism. I believe history will remember him as one of our great presidents.