In Roman Krznaric’s article “Six Habits of Highly Empathic People” that inspired the idea for this class, his 6th habit is actually “Develop an ambitious imagination.” As he describes this, however, he talks about the importance of stepping into the shoes of those with whom we may disagree on an issue. As such, I’m reformulating this concept into this week’s theme, the final in our six week class.
I purposely put the word “enemies” in quotes as it is such a strong word to use. I intend for it to mean anyone with whom we have a fundamental disagreement on a topic. I harken back to a class I once facilitated for high schoolers on the political process in 2004. A student was struggling to understand the platform of George W. Bush and I encouraged her to come to class with the mindset of being a supporter. She succeeded at this because she was spent time imagining herself campaigning for Bush. So empathizing, she developed a greater understanding of the election.
I struggle with life here in conservative Texas and as I recently mentioned I have opened my Fb to a couple of women who post a lot and frequently it is political commentary diametrically opposed to my views. I have tried to read what they write without judgment. It is hard to read some of the comments and hear the almost kneejerk reactions blaming the president, but I am trying to keep an open mind and remember the women I enjoy in the crafts group without all the baggage of politics. If I can remain open to their comments, perhaps I can also learn not to express my reactions in a condemning way so that they do not read what I write.