“A room full of parrots is no good.”
That’s what my friend Wading Across said in our discussion here about trolls. Hadn’t heard it put that way before. Hadn’t heard the song Somebody That I Used to Know until recently either. The comment and the song stuck with me.
Admit it. We subscribe to news sources slanted toward our beliefs. We listen to commentators we like. We friend people on Facebook with the unspoken expectation they won’t offend us with their status updates.
We block or unfriend them if they do. We leave snippy comments or stop reading bloggers when they push it too far.
Creating a room full of parrots is a piece of cake. Imagine an island.
Welcome to Parrot Island! Your feathers are lovely. Your feathers are lovely. Your feathers are lovely! Margarita? Margarita? Don’t mind if I do. I do. I do!
Conflict is not my thing. I like to read and relate to folks who see things my way. The world’s all warm and fuzzy when people agree with me.
I don’t have to venture very far offshore before I’m troubled by the other side’s point of view. The surf. The waves. The water. Where’s the drop off? How far does it go down? Is there riptide? Who lives across the water?
Beyond the hype, beyond the labels working or stay-at-home, conservative or liberal, Christian or atheist, gay or straight, there’s a person. And possibly an opportunity.
Another writer with a razor sharp wit. We could spar over dinner. An old classmate who seems like a sibling now. We share years. A stranger who savors mint tea as much as I do. Pour me a cup. Or not.
I may never become best friends with the person on the other side, but we can still be polite. We can agree to disagree. We might even learn something.
Don’t get me wrong, dear readers. I treasure every sweet comment you keyboard as I’m certain do most bloggers.
People thrive on being in community with others who share common interests, goals, and beliefs. It’s unhealthy to remain in relationship with those who abuse you or trample your boundaries.
But I wonder if Wading Across was onto something when he said the folks benefiting the most are those who read all the positions. You know, the ones taking it all in. The ones listening.
And I wonder if their thoughtful comments of agreement or disagreement serve to promote understanding.
Novel concepts, listening and understanding. Might come in handy as we enter the heat of election season. Easier said than done of course. Because birds of a feather flock together.
Care to leave a comment? Don’t mind if I do. I do. I do!
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT
Island music with Bob Marley and the Wailers: Stir It Up, little darling.
What do you think can be gained by sharing and listening to different opinions? What can be lost?