Like most people, I have used language that establishes where “I stand” on issues of social importance. While this has served me well in my ability to make friends and associates who hold the same worldview, little has been accomplished in engaging with those of differing views on critical issues.
Recent gun violence in our country has convinced me that a more integrative approach is going to be necessary if we intend to provide for the safety of our children, first responders, etc. As I have engaged this issue it has become clear that those speaking to solutions are highly influenced by past experience, personal belief and political alignment; myself included.
Looking at my own communication I wonder how my personal beliefs are standing in the way of helpful actions. Does my belief in the path of social justice or personal history with gun violence create barriers to real solutions? Further, is it time to examine these strongly held beliefs and set them aside opening for consideration all possible solutions?
What would happen if those with whom I disagree did the same, suspended the need to advocate an already established belief and engaged in an open dialogue seeking real answers? Some times beliefs held as sacred are the very stumbling blocks to progress, communication and compassion.
Today I call on the community to set an example in the debate of this issue. Let us take two steps back, examine what beliefs we hold that may be preventing us from considering real practical solutions. Let us set the table of discourse with the wares of self-reflection, moderation, awareness, and critical thinking.
The goal here is not the advancement of agendas but the safety of our community; to use this set of circumstances to bring real solutions to a problem that has plagued or nation for too long.
For many years young people have been dying from gun violence. Recent sad events have brought this to the forefront of public discourse. Let us not misspend this opportunity.
We can set an example!