WOW… how great it is to be back… I am eager and excited and pouncing to post as we get back in the swing of our weekly, respectful conversations.
But WOW… how great it was to feature our 10th annual Guest Writer Series… What a privilege it was to hear varied perspective from a diverse group of people! And how awesome it was to see the hundreds of you that read or participated in this year’s offering — including the many of you who privately reached out to say, “I can’t comment, but I’m reading and watching — and yes, learning from someone who thinks differently than me.”
Allow me to affirm and applaud that.
Since the origin of the Intramuralist, I have said that listening to me is not what’s most important. In fact (and listen closely, in case I’m never again quite so humble), sometimes what I write is wrong. Sometimes my perspective is off. And sometimes I don’t even know it.
But in the world in which we now live, I never wish to insulate the echo chamber. Echo chamber residents only hear the sound of their own voice… their own opinion. And maybe an opinion is wise at one time… but if it never sharpens… if it’s never stretched… if it’s never challenged to say, “Look, there are other angles,” then I think we sacrifice the greatest wisdom.
I especially enjoyed the wisdom and other angles shared in this year’s series. This group of varied gender, ethnicity, faith, and political perspective had some poignant lines that made many of us think… i.e.
“We have to allow ourselves to walk in the freedom of knowing that we are all on level ground; we are not so different from one another.”
“When five or more justices think they know better based on any reasoning whatsoever except for what the Constitution says, that is not democracy.”
“For many of us this ‘want-need’ struggle still affects our lives, especially if we are trying to follow the Biblical truths that address the acquisition of ‘getting’ and the teachings on ‘giving.’ But what if those truths mean we would really have more, not less?”
“When others have an offense against another, is it right for the offended person to hate the perceived hater?”
“Many preach love, but discharge hate when the office holder is not in their camp. Many preach tolerance, but end relationships because of political views.”
“[Trump] could not have risen to power were it not for the toxic political environment that existed before he was elected. He knows how to take advantage of uncivil discourse, but it did not start with him, and it will not go away after his presidency unless we do something about it.”
“Hillary hears you and is intrigued by opposing viewpoints and tries to incorporate them into solutions. Voters rarely saw this side of Hillary.”
“To say we have not seen any change to race relations would not be truthful. To say there is not still much work to do would also would not be truthful. My advice is to acknowledge and embrace the positive changes that have occurred.”
“The bottom line is we all play a role in each other’s lives. We have to ask ourselves how we can be a part of the solution… Can we listen without judging?”
Great to ponder, no doubt.
And so I return with much more to discuss… from Mollie Tibbetts to John McCain to a Bahamian grocery clerk who inadvertently taught me an eye-opening, humbling lesson… to witnessing the counter screaming encounter in the airport… to the excellent, diverse books I read… to attempting to discern where God’s compassion and sovereignty meet — and how many of us are better at embracing only one of those… to voting third party and the existence of the Electoral College… to Joe Biden, Lindsay Graham, the “three amigos,” and voting for the “nice guys”… to my young son’s profound lesson on racism — and what it taught me…
I love our Guest Writer Series for so many reasons — most of all, because it is the manifestation of welcoming diverse perspective, an excellent habit for us all. Note that I also love the intentional respite it provides, firing me up for a fruitful return.
“So let the games begin, friends!” Remember all are welcome to play.
We play sincerely, often seriously, but always, always, respectfully.