You see, I’m afraid that if I really sit down and talk with you, I might have to change my beliefs, the stuff I hold most dear. I might have to think. I might experience an inner conflict.
Conflict is good because it is how we learn. In other words, it’s the obstacles or the stuff I bump up against that make me think. Conflict is pretty scary. So I either try to avoid conflict all together or get angry. I can avoid talking with folks who might disagree with me or simply “put them in their place.” Neither one helps me learn.
In the midst of the polarization that seems to permeate our society these days, it is important to find ways to remain in open dialog with everyone, to avoid divisive and derisive speech. The goal is not to change the other or even change myself. It is simply to speak and listen in a spirit of dignity and respect for the other person.
So this Halloween, let’s lay aside the ghosts that separate us from each other,
take off our masks and costumes,
and step away from the fear that divides us and keeps us from being truly free.
Maybe, just this once, the Great Pumpkin will show up!