Forum Posts

villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
“A house divided against itself cannot stand”. Humans are social creatures. We love to love, to play, to make friends and discover new possibilities. We work well in teams, achieving far more than we ever could on our own. It was in unity, not isolation, that we put footsteps on the moon, and it is through teams of people from around the world that we enjoy smartphones in our pockets. In the project of America, our unity has many times been tested. We’ve witnessed acts of greed, of horror, of separation. But these qualities are not necessary components of our nation, because they are not necessary components of humanity. Only through indoctrination are our children taught to hate. The human instinct is inclined to work together rather than to separate. It is much more natural to share food with a starving man than to laugh at him. Let’s remember to nurture this part of our humanity.
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villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
Looking for new experiences may be intimidating, but it is curiosity which nurtures growth and improvement of the human experience. In the modern world with billions of people, it can be hard to know who is who, and it is much easier to love thy neighbor than to get to know the rest of the eight billion or so people around. But humanity has come a long way since its inception. In our interconnected world, you’re never more than a click away from a conversation with someone from the other side of the globe. Let us bring our definition of what it is to be a neighbor to the 21st century, understanding that our actual neighborhood is in many ways an accident of birth or circumstance and a good friend can be found just about anywhere. New neighbors will bring new experiences, which in turn will allow us to grow. On the other hand, isolation will bring fear, which will stifle progress and nurture conflict. Virtually everyone across the globe agrees on the primacy of peace, and when we learn to look at others with curious eyes rather than ambivalent ones, we can foster an atmosphere of community, adventure, and growth on a grander scale than ever before, and usher in a type of politics that brings out the best in all of us.
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villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
For a society to be truly at peace, it requires more than the lack of war. Peace is an active process, and not always an easy one. It requires a basic level of trust and good will extended from each individual to another. It is tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, community. It is learning to recognize the humanity in each of us, and knowing the difference between your fellow human and a demonized enemy. It is the responsibility to look upon your neighbor with the helpful eye of a friend. Passivity is hopelessness, distrust, and defeatedness. It is the result of giving up on your fellow human, of characterizing them as Other. When conversing with a member of a different political identity, remember to treat them peacefully, rather than passively. Remember that political identities don’t have to be anything more than a single part of a larger whole. They are a part of what it is to be human, and being human is much more about community and friendship than isolation and distrust.
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villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
Alienation and partisanship may win elections, but merely winning an election is not the hallmark of democracy. Part of our mission is to connect people from across the political spectrum. We are not a platform for political division or partisanship, and we welcome members of any political identity to engage in respectful and productive conversation. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates argues against democracy by citing how tyrannical demagogues can incite the devolution of the supposedly fair society into one ruled by a mob. Let us remember that even those we disagree with most are doing the best they can based on the fundamental values they were raised to believe. With this assumption, we can learn not to disapprove of the opposing political party and all its supporters, but to engage with individual people who hold different views, and come to an agreement through dialogue and understanding. The hallmark of democracy is the ability to work together towards a better future for all.
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villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
The key to successfully performing the art of politics lies in convincing those you disagree with of the merits of your argument. Experts tell us of the power of listening in conversation. When one encounters a particularly brazen antagonist, it can be all too easy to hunker down in our beliefs and dig deeper into our ideological fortresses. But this does nothing to bring about a better common understanding of the problem at hand. When we choose to identify with a certain ideology, we construct the walls of our own ideological prison. This closes us off from new arguments, discourages critical thinking, and divides the world between ‘us’ and ‘them’. In contrast, when we listen to those we disagree with, we learn. When we learn a new perspective, it allows us to find the faults in our arguments and improve them accordingly. To truly hear an opponent in debate is to gain an ally in progress. According to the Principles of Nonviolent Communication, when engaging in dialogue we should remember to: Clarify what we observe State how we feel What values we want to live by What we need to ask of ourselves and others “No blame, judgment, or confrontation”
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villanojlauren
Nov 12, 2021
In Open Discussion
Achieving a more perfect union is an unachievable task until we remove the blemishes of racism and inequality of all forms from our society. Our nation’s history is stained with the legacy of slavery, conquest, and oppression. But though this is how the story began, it need not be the way it ends. The story of America has always been that of two steps forward, one step back. Each day that passes adds another page to our history. Though race relations have improved over the last 50 years, there is still much work to be done. The reality is, people of color still suffer higher rates of inequality of income, wealth, criminal justice, education, healthcare, and much more. With hopefully centuries or more remaining in our society’s lifespan, let’s work to make the turmoil of today a distant memory for our grandchildren, who can bask in a true American Dream that is available to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, class, or any other form of identity other than human.
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