Contempt Is a Bitter-Tasting Word

Contempt Is a Bitter-Tasting Word

Others of my Friends say, “You can’t persuade some people with facts. You are wasting your time.” And I say, “All I am teaching is how to have a conversation. Persuasion may come, but it is not the goal. The goal is to rebuild community among people who do not agree.”

Both groups show a level of contempt. One group of Friends shows it in a patronizing manner, assuming that all Friends have to do is get the facts to those ignorant people and they would all agree with those Friends. The other shows contempt in assuming that the people with whom they disagree have no ability to learn—or to teach.

But you cannot find that of God in everyone if you do not talk to everyone. You cannot find that of God in everyone if you hold many in contempt.

It is not about agreeing: It is about setting aside our contempt and listening. It is about realizing that there are things upon which we can agree, even if they are as mundane as agreeing that we need rain, or that growing a garden takes work.

Finding this common ground that we all share is the best hope for our nation and, indeed, the world. It is a physical manifestation of our belief that we find that of God in everyone. Finding that of God in everyone should not be an abstract idea best practiced at a distance. It should be concrete actions that build the cornerstone of our beloved community.

via Friends Journal Contempt Is a Bitter-Tasting Word