Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.
What consequences evolve when lines drawn in the sand become immovable walls?
We could say the walls reflect the non-negotiable values that people stand up for and believe. A moral code. Opposing walls are built with their non-negotiables to protect and shout out their moral code. Each wall fortified to never be breached, challenged, or deconstructed in light of new evidence. No bridges allowed.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an ideologue as “an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.” The chance for conversation is minimized or totally shut down.
One writer puts it like this:
I’ve come to believe that listening requires a suspension of certainty –
at least long enough to hear what the other person is saying
and attempt to empathize with where they are coming from.
It also requires some curiosity about perspectives different from our own.
While certainty can help us navigate our journey and stand up for justice, challenges exist. Certainty leads to a lack of curiosity. Certainty leads to confirmation bias. Certainty shuts down collaboration across different spectrums. Certainty creates walls.
Certainty can lead to dichotomous thinking that shuts down conversation, and at its darkest, yields vitriol, hate, and lack of community.
If one side is always right and the other sides always wrong, how do we get to the stage of curiosity, listening, growth, and change? Where does the opening in the wall occur? Or does an open door become equated with weakness never to be tolerated?
For what it’s worth, if we suspend certainty and listen with the intent to hear, we all might learn. As Buffalo Springfield sang decades ago, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”
Video recommendation for the week:
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.
Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.
Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.
In the meantime, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
- Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®