by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Christoper Jacobs uses a Federalist column to contrast two approaches to dealing with incoming information.
[O]ne weekend last month, I went to church and heard a reading from the first book of Kings, one in which the Lord instructs Elijah to go outside on Mount Horeb and await God’s passage. The reading resonated with me for its relevance in our current climate—one dominated by noise and shouting rather than deliberation and contemplation. …
… That’s where the lesson from Kings comes in. Changing others’ beliefs involves listening for the whisper amidst the wind, the earthquakes, and the fire—the modern noise that has coarsened our debate. It requires understanding the sense of concern, or even disillusionment, that may have prompted the protests in the first place. It involves seeing others as they are, not as we wish they would be.
Listening isn’t always easy, but it is worthwhile. I won’t claim perfection on this front—far from it. But over the past week, I’ve run into some more diverse perspectives on the health-care debate, which is my professional specialty. In several cases, they’ve imparted factual knowledge, and while they haven’t necessarily changed my beliefs, they have modified my perspective and allowed me to see things from a different light.