In an increasingly polarized world, there are more people than ever that hold beliefs that confound us. Whatever side of any issue you might be on, you’re undoubtedly amazed at “those people” on the other side. However, the more we can understand where they’re coming from, the better off we’ll all be.
In her excellent book “I Never Thought of It That Way“, author Mónica Guzmán shares this insight:
That’s because, to be totally frank with you (and if it isn’t already obvious), one of my deepest personal convictions in life is that understanding the people who confound us is always, always worth it.
If you’re able to do that, two things can happen.
First, you’ll have a greater sense of why people believe that way, which may strengthen your own conviction and give you the ability to better express your views.
Second, perhaps you’ll shift your own ideas a bit. When I talk about “those that confound us”, it’s often people that I already know and like. If they believe something different from me, I want to understand it to make sure my views are straight.
Maybe it’ll strengthen my current views or maybe it’ll challenge them, but either way I’ll come out of it a little better than I was before.