I love vegetables.
Everyone knows I love vegetables. (Oh, you didn’t know? I love them!! I’m a health/nutrition coach, in fact.) I love talking to other people who love vegetables. I could talk about them for days! Their beautiful colors, their deliciousness, the wonderful and different ways to prepare them, and how they can taste different depending on how/if they’re cooked and what they are paired with. And most of all, I love talking about their health benefits. I love talking to fellow veggie-lovers!
But you know what I really need to do? I need to talk to people who DON’T like veggies. I need to ask them why. I need to hear them out, and understand their reasons for not liking vegetables. I need to WANT to understand where they’re coming from. They might have some great insight to share! They might help me understand other people, too.
Talk to people who don’t like vegetables.
So should I talk to ALL people who don’t love vegetables? Eh, maybe not. You know there are gonna be some very strange and stubborn people out there. The “I won’t eat them Sam I am” type. They’ve made up their mind, they do not believe veggies are healthy cuz they remember Uncle Bob who ate salads every day but died at age 50. The people who talk during a conversation but forget about the listening part. They anxiously wait for you to finish your sentence so that they can jump in with more comments. I might not waste my time on them. I might focus on spending time discussing veggies with people who appreciate reputable studies, research, people’s experiences, and experts in the field. Instead of the people who just like arguing.
So. My point.
I think this relates to politics, too. I avoid discussing politics (and vegetables) with certain people. I know they feel one way and I feel another. And that’s that. But. What is that accomplishing? Sure, it’s helping to keep the peace. But are we missing out on a good quality conversation, chock full of challenging each other and learning new things? By not having thoughtful face-to-face discussions, are we walking around with biased information in our heads? I might have some misinformation on a topic. I would love to know if I was wrong about a “fact”! In fact, I don’t wanna keep telling people this one fact that’s actually not a fact. If it’s wrong, please tell me!
Maybe I could call up a friend who voted for someone else, and we could agree to have some coffee and a conversation. We could both approach the conversation with curiosity, a thirst for truth and understanding, and the desire to learn something. And any time, we could use Google to look up a fact if we’re unsure. “Did he really say that babies are stupid?? Let’s look it up.”
What do you think? I’m sure you are thinking of a few certain people that you would NOT want to talk to about politics. And that’s ok. Maybe you don’t want to talk to that person who is always the first to jump down someone’s throat on Facebook. But that person who often chimes in and clearly does her research? The person who speaks politely and tries her best to avoid name-calling? Maybe some good old-fashioned debates would be good for us! I actually would love to see more of this in schools, workplaces, bars. Instead of karaoke night, we could do debate night! Call me a dork but I think it would be pretty neato! It wouldn’t work for everyone…but that applies to everything.
I love you! Thanks for reading!