E Pluribus Unum

by Peter Saint-Andre


Following up on my post about brotherhood, I've continued to think about ways to cultivate a more magnanimous attitude toward other people and groups. One idea I'm trying on for size is seeing different viewpoints as contributing to the overall evolution of society. This is especially challenging in the political realm, which is mired in binary thinking, polarization, and demonization of The Other; yet, for that very reason, perhaps here such a mindshift could be especially valuable.

Consider a few examples:

As usual, the best path forward likely lies somewhere in between and can be found only through a process that the civilizational historian Carroll Quigley called "the gradual and communal search for truth". Unfortunately, that search is too often impeded by those who think they have all the answers and who won't even consider the insights that folks with other viewpoints might bring to the table - or, worse, who wish to force their positions on the rest of us. Yes, there are many reasons for pessimism these days; yet pessimism is no way to live, and I'm optimistic that time, tolerance, moderation, and a commitment to the human conversation can overcome these obstacles.

(Cross-posted at philosopher.coach.)


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