I know I have mentioned Krista Tippett before in this space – with her On Being media initiative and her Civil Conversations Project, she never fails to challenge me and inspire me. (If you’re not familiar with this, you can find out more at www.onbeing.org.) Recently, I took a look at a guide to encouraging civil conversation and the following quote stuck in my brain:
You have got to approach differences with this notion that there is good in the other. That’s it. If we can’t figure out how to do that, if there isn’t the crack in the middle where there’s some people on both sides who absolutely refuse to see the other as evil, things will not change.
As you might imagine, the work that I do can sometimes lead to differences of opinion on difficult issues. It can be hard to see the good in someone who espouses a view that you find repugnant. I do not pretend that there are simple solutions to this. This week, though, I invite you to spend some time thinking about the spark of the divine that lives in every human heart. Do you believe this? Even the heart of someone whose views you cannot abide? How can we support each other in wrestling with that even as we do not minimize what we believe to be wrong?