The Litchfield Chapter of the League of Women Voters kicked off the season’s monthly Lunch and Learn at the Oliver Wolcot Library in Litchfield on October 19 with a lively discussion on civil discourse. All agreed that having substantive conversations about political topics have become difficult in the current climate.
Emotions prevail over facts, families have to declare “no politics” zones, and often in social situations there is that elephant in the room – strongly held differences of opinion that are being unvoiced. Over the course of an hour, the collective wisdom of the group came up with things that have worked for individual participants.
Finding common ground with a family member, using the first person singular when voicing an opinion or observation, deeply listening to and drawing out experiences from friends and strangers, and when confronted with strong feelings and opinions from a conversation partner, offering to share your own differing experience or opinion on the subject, being willing to accept “No” as an answer to the offer.
The energy around the topic was electric. Everyone voiced their experiences, feelings, and strategies. As the moderator, I am deeply grateful for the vulnerability of these men and women who shared on this difficult first topic. Stayed tuned for information on the next “Lunch and Learn”, to be held in November. Y’all come on out!