Blog #564 Three little words

Informal Education with Bruce White

January 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM · 

Three little words: Taking a quasi-political turn today.…/the_power_of_three_little_wo…/ 
Actually, these words are for all of us.
The words are:
-1 Listen
-2 Explain
-3 Govern

The writer is from an Indianapolis paper and this article came as an editorial on January 10, 2019 (two days ago).

First – Listen

Yes, we have to listen. To our own ideas, to our friends’ ideas, to our enemies ideas. And, even more than audible voice, but to the passion and the body language. We might agree, in fact, we might disagree (or as some said “We can agree to disagree”).

In business there is a concept of violent disagreement, but even stranger is the violent agreement. Do you remember the early Lite beer commercials – one side is strongly saying “It tastes great”, and the other side just as fervently is saying “Less filling”. Of course, the message to the audience of the commercial was that it both tastes great AND is less filling.

In the home, the parents are saying things like “we love you, we are concerned for you, we think you are not old enough to date at age sixteen”; and the teenager is saying “but I am able to handle it”. It might be that both are right, and the parents DO want to protect their daughter (from unscrupulous men), but the daughter is in effect saying, “I know that, but at some point, you are going to have to trust me” (and I think that Titus, the president of the High School Chess Club, who I have known from church, and you know his parents as good, sweet people, will be a good starting point for a sixteen-year-old).

When we put up our “wall’ before we listen (intentional use of the word “wall”), the barrier to open communication happens. 
Yes, Listen

Next, explain
The person (group) is trying to explain WHY they believe as they do. If they (and you) can explain the basis for their belief, let them do it.

Let’s say you are having a forum for “International Faith Week” (or something similar and you invite a Catholic priest, an Evangelical pastor, a Jewish rabbi, and a Muslim Onam – even if you have your own belief system, you need to let that person ‘explain’ their faith and beliefs.
In the political spectrum, I may have gone into a discussion (argument?) with biases and come out of that discussion with an understanding – and occasionally changed opinions and values. 
(and … watch the labels – ‘jerk’, ‘stupid’, ‘pink liberal’, ‘reactionary conservative’ doesn’t always work. A person could be a liberal on some issues and a conservative on others – and all based on their analysis and what has gone into their thinking.)

Explain also implies wise and careful use of rhetoric.

Explain should mean a careful presentation of the facts and the interpretations of those facts in an appropriate manner, not yelling at the other side.

That is appropriate for the editorial in the Indianapolis Daily Journal, but how about us? Do we ‘govern’? Some of the synonyms for governing include ‘manage’, ‘regulate’, ‘guide’ – which could be terms outside of government. I/we have to manage our family budget, guide our children, regulate our use of resources.

I have been known to find Bible quotes, and today I find in Isaiah 1:18 “Come let us reason together”. Yes, we can ‘agree to disagree’ without being ‘disagreeable’.

There is a concept that we have TWO ears and only ONE mouth, and therefore we should listen twice as much as talk.

What do you think? Can we (or the government) reason together? Can we (or the government), listen, explain and govern like rational human beings?


Posted by Bruce White

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