“We’re on the same page . . .”

That, right there, is the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. The other stuff is simply a matter of personal preference. and lived experience.

To take your “in order for society to progress that there has to be an understanding of racism” and “unpicking the human condition” points further, I look at those from a different angle. I refer to it as “understanding how people came to be who they are.” This includes the person as a whole, not simply racist behavior. But people aren’t simply going to expose their tender underbelly or tip their hand right off the bat. To really get to know someone and to gain further understanding of the circumstances that shaped their beliefs and behaviors, you have to be in relationship with them. Trust is an integral component at this point.

And you know what? I wouldn’t even say that you and are having a debate. I’m not a debater. I don’t debate. But what I do is speak with people to find out more about them. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure if your were being glib or not in your first reply. This medium can truncate a lot of meaning, but I wanted to dig a a little deeper to see what was beneath the surface.

As for the folks who have knee-jerk reactions, sometimes they’re living what they’ve learned and haven’t seen any other way of dealing with someone who might have a slightly different opinion from their own. Or they simply don’t have the patience or desire to sit and take the necessary time to put their thoughts down on digital paper.

Also, people should have an element of concern about offending. It shouldn’t be an overriding factor in some instances, but if people don’t care about offending others, they don’t care about whatever consequences may follow. There’s a continuum of responses between caving in and being totally intolerant of another person expressing their point of view.

We — you, me, people in general — have to be intentional in our efforts to build bridges as opposed to tearing them down.

Again, thanks for reaching out and keeping the conversation going with a thoughtful reply. Thanks for a great read.

Written by

Artist, actor, author, editorial director of Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Connect via social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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