Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Warts and All

Friend Liz James saw the ongoing dynamics of the discussions regarding a popular viral YouTube video regarding religion  to comment in a recent note on her blog regarding the value of maintaining dialogue in community.

Liz's work is very compelling and I thanked her for writing it.  And you should read it.  However, I later found myself falling into the exact trap she noted that David Brooks had fallen.  In her work, she points out the fundamental dissimilarity between the need to end (or in 2012 vernacular:  win) a conversation and the skill to keep it going, warts and all.

I found myself applying the duality of right and wrong to the participants in the discussion.  I felt sad for David Brooks that he should control that much power and be unaware of his role as judge and jury (giving him the benefit of the doubt, here).

Making mistakes is at the core of whole-hearted, open-hearted and warm-hearted dialogue.  A peaceful community of love means taking what people say and thing, warts and all.  Finding error (especially factual error) is quite easy. Finding truth is more work and requires more love, like the love Liz demonstrated by taking the time to write in support of continuing the dialogue.

What does it tell us about us as a society, Mr. Brooks individually and mass-media that the presence of factual or interpretive errors is evidence of willful misleading or misinformation?

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