One morning this week I was listening to National Public Radio and heard a news story about a recent Pew survey about religious freedom and non-discrimination. The sharp divide among people that we all feel is well documented in this report.
What grabbed my attention most was when the newsperson stated that survey respondents reported an inability to sympathize with those who hold opposing points of view.
“One of the goals of the survey was to see how many Americans feel torn because they can understand where both sides are coming from on these issues. The short answer is: not many.”
What a powerful reminder that our splintered world desperately needs us to create safe spaces as well as ethical, practical and interpersonal tools and guidelines for empathy and deep listening.
So glad we’re all in this together.
“Ecologists, economists, ethicists, philosophers of science and religious and secular leaders have all given voice to this theme: despite our illusions of individualism and national superiority, human beings are a profoundly interconnected species, with each other and with all forms of life, as the global economic and ecological crises reveal in vivid and frightening detail. We must understand the simple fact that we are dependent upon and accountable to one another—including the stranger, the “alien other.” At the same time, we need to save this notion from the idealistic excesses that make it an impossible dream.” –Parker J. Palmer, from Healing the Heart of Democracy