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I love to write... and sometimes a letter is a lovely way to communicate thoughtfully with someone. But tossing stuff back and forth online and blogging feel like something else entirely... too public... all sorts of ways things can be taken out of context... which leads to too much editing and writing for public consumption. And who has the TIME??? Last week, out of curiosity, I went onto Facebook and next thing I knew it was more than an hour later and I had scrolled through just one day's worth of clever posters, sayings, shares about experiences. Any one of them might have been worth engaging in a real conversation. But it's a thumbs up (or down) world out there. No place for nuance or, more important, connection. THAT is my long answer to your short question about having a thoughtful online conversation.


John, these are great insights. Being able to handle dissent respectfully can be very challenging.

thank you,

John Anderson

It seems to me that we will first need to take the lead and overcome our prejudices regarding the right and fundamentalists and anyone with whom we disagree. Sincere connection with people having very different perspectives is the means to this scaling, in my opinion.

I think that some of the people whose opinions I find exasperating are having a hard time living with the growing sense of uncertainty that our global crises are feeding. How do I relate to fear? I have to listen as respectfully as if I were in the presence of the wisest of the wise. I think that is the first thing that fear requires, a fair hearing. If we are going to go beyond talking to ourselves, someone has to actually listen and empathize with the illusory other. Just my two cents.

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