Inhabiting Their Perspective

We remind ourselves in this family that most conflict comes from a misunderstanding of, or a lack of willingness to, inhabit another’s point of view. We’re learning–on this micro level–about diplomacy.

What does it mean to negotiate? What do we do when negotiation cannot (and perhaps should not) happen because compromise violates a deeply held conviction or moral stance? What then?

With one daughter starting Student Council and another who simply loves to argue, we’re entering more deeply into conflict-resolution and decision-making when folks don’t always agree. As an instructor in a classroom divided over various national and international concerns, I jump inside a student’s cultural context to see what kind of soil grew that particular viewpoint.

“Oh, yes! I see what you mean and why you feel this way! I understand!”

This is the work of living together. This work doesn’t end; it’s our most important work as citizens.

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