Gratitude, Day 18: Conversation

NOTE: I am a fan of 30-day challenges, and November is traditionally a time of two: National Novel Writing Month, and 30 Days of Thanks. As I am not a fiction writer, this year I have chosen to publish a daily blog for the entire month, expressing my gratitude. This may not be entirely food-focused, but expect recipes aplenty. Feel free to join me in the comments below. What are you thankful for today?

Neighbors, plus a beautiful sky that everyone can see.

In a week in which the thin veneer of civility has been scraped away like the skin on top of pudding, it has been refreshing to have at least one conversation with someone whose views I do not share that resulted in an amicable agreement to disagree and a promise to keep talking.

This person was a stranger on the internet.

I think this type of interchange is rare, especially these days.

We seem to have lost the ability to truly communicate with each other, seeking first to understand and only then to be understood.

The winner is whomever shouts loudest.

I have been censoring the hell out of myself these past days, crippled by a debilitating sense of doom, accompanied by a side of Who The Hell Is Listening Anyway. I type replies and delete them.

But this one time, I typed my reply and hit send, and what came back was a reasoned and measured conversation about healthcare, specifically the Affordable Care Act.

No one yelled.

No one got personal or insulting.

Everyone felt heard.

So today, as clumsy as we humans can be about it, I am grateful for those moments in conversation when we all feel respected and listened to and understood, not only by people who share our own views (which is easiest) but also by those with whom we disagree.

This is no small challenge – to truly hear others.

But it is work worth doing.

What are you grateful for today?