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Stop arguing and start listening

I don’t live here anymore, I just visit now and then. When I do come, though, I read the op-eds and letters in your newspapers. Gotta say, it’s depressing.

Years ago, “talking blue” meant swearing. Today, from examples I see in the op-eds, “blue talk” means inflexible, polarized, shrill, frantic, hysterical, demanding recriminatory.

I also listen to conservative talk radio. I suppose what I hear there is “red talk.” Sounds just like blue talk though: all the same stuff and more — unyielding, apocalyptic.

It hasn’t always been this way. It would benefit us all to return to civility. We could be better and more productive citizens if we listened more and talked less. All ideas are worthy of consideration. Compromise is a creative activity leading forward to resolution through respect for the opinions of others. Although absolutes certainly exist, human understanding mostly derives from our subjective interpretation of myriad stuff coming down the pike at us. What we really need is respect for each other. Respect.

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In the midst of riots provoked by his treatment by Los Angeles County sheriff deputies in May 1992, Rodney King pleaded: “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?”

I think he was on to something.

Chuck Cole

St. Elmo, Colorado


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