Cross-cultural dialogue…

I’ve rarely seen a political argument on Facebook end well or with any minds changed.  However, my opportunities to argue with a Facebook friend of differing political views are, unfortunately, very limited. Here in northern California, I live in a political and cultural bubble.  But if I DID ever have the opportunity to try to convince a friend or family member with differing political views on our current President, I would plagiarize my articulate, super smart and compassionate friend Heather Simpson.

sprigHeather grew up in California, has deep family roots in Oklahoma, is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and has lived and worked for international NGOs in Washington, D.C. for over a decade.  Here’s what she wrote to a friend with different political views.  Maybe you can make use of her words with your own friends and family members…

“We are treading in new waters and need to find ways to constructively engage. I know from my vantage point it is painful to see our proud country retreat into isolation. I actually think we as a country have an important leadership role to play on the world stage. Having a executive branch that is consistent, transparent, and truthful is paramount in this effort. I have not yet seen this consistency, transparency, or truthfulness from the current administration. This is very concerning and keeps me up at night. Honoring human rights for all people around the globe–both inside our borders, as well as outside our borders is crucial. It saddens me to see our executive branch demonize refugees fleeing from the horrors of war. It is a travesty for the US to turn its back on helping people pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is core to our founding, and core to our nation. I will fight against destroying this core. We must not abandon science and evidence. The US has an important role to play in addressing climate change issues, advancing scientific research, and improving education methods. I worry the current administration is putting in place people who will weaken our path towards scientific leadership, damage the environment, and weaken the education system. Yes, we need to find ways to talk about these issues in more constructive manners. The gulf between sides has grown, and unless we can move back to the center core of our American principles, we will will become weaker as a nation. I always try to understand different perspectives, and try to share my thoughts in a respectful manner. I treasure both my roots from Oklahoma, and my life experience in Boston, San Francisco, New Haven, Mexico City, Tegucigalpa, and Washington DC. I will stay engaged and use my voice and my vote. With love always.”