Since the inception of the Intramuralist nine years ago, we have enjoyed a spirited discussion covering hundreds of — actually, well over a thousand — topics. It’s been thought-provoking, encouraging, and often challenging… sometimes all at the same time.
As stated here frequently, the goal of this blog is not that we persuade one another into all thinking the exact same thing. We don’t. We can’t. And I don’t believe such clonal thinking is wise nor necessary.
The goal of the Intramuralist is to learn to communicate in such a respectful manner that others can actually hear what you have to say. The reality is that if a person isn’t willing to communicate respectfully, the chances of them being heard readily diminishes.
The Intramuralist desires to be heard. I desire to hear you. I desire for each of us to actively listen to one another. And if we listen well, ask good questions, and interact respectfully, each of us can and will be sharpened.
I desire to be sharpened. And yes, I desire to grow.
Exemplifying that desire to listen to others, for nine years, we have offered our infamous Guest Writer Series at the end of summer. The series is a collection of insight, opinion, and offerings from someone other than me, published in late July/August of each year. If we are going to be sharpened, we need to listen to persons other than one — or rather, other than only the insulating likeminded.
I believe this year’s writers to be excellent. They are intuitive, thoughtful, and diverse. They hail from various professions all over the country… from a business executive to a stay-at-home mom… from a writer to a nurse… from a student to a salesman…
They speak with different styles, using varied tones.
Collectively, no less, they have chosen a wide variety of subjects — subjects in which each of the respective writers is individually passionate. For example, beginning Tuesday, in the next few weeks, you will hear opinions on evolution, climate change, adoption, etc. You’ll hear from one about the importance of our individual, physical health — encouraging each of us to take sincere stock in such. You’ll hear from some articulate millennials — one on what it’s like to live in a foreign land this summer — and another talking to parents about what it’s like to grow up with depression.
We learn from the varied angles… angles different than our own.
You’ll also hear several commentaries on current challenges affecting our society, culture, and government. I appreciate the varied approaches to how we navigate through the seemingly increasing incivility. That is a theme mentioned by many.
Also planned is a multi-part series on why a person would choose to be a Democrat or a Republican. It is logical and well thought out and not inflammatory in any way. Remember that each perspective is sincere and respectful; hence, we can be sharpened and grow.
Let me also be clear to state that the perspectives shared may or may not be opinions I agree with. But again, agreement has never been my goal. My goal is for respectful dialogue. I am committed to respectful dialogue. Always.
Additionally, during this time, I will be taking a bit of an intentional respite, resting and reflecting and being recharged. Rest is good, my friends. It helps us do what we’re called to do; it’s important to rest intentionally. I thus look forward to the break, but I look equally forward to being back and penning multiple (exceptionally witty) posts upon my return.
So sit back. Enjoy. Learn. Be sharpened. Let the author know what you think.
But do so respectfully. Always.
Here’s to the 2017 Guest Writer Series, introducing 15 expressive guest writers, starting Tuesday. I can’t wait. The broad diversity, the sincere articulation, and the mutual respect…
This, my friends, is good.