How do you converse with an American where facts don’t matter unless they are “their facts.” These are difficult conversations! Maybe the person talks over you, equivalent to a child blocking his/her ears when they don’t want to hear something. Perhaps you show this individual a copy of a factual article, but they refuse to even look at it. What if even entertaining your view conflicts with their inner circle of friends’ views? They seem to be afraid you might taint their minds. How do you meet this situation with maturity and grace?
As an illustration, I occasionally encounter this situation with a few Gen X-ers pushing 40. Even my favorite 20-year-old can entertain opposing views. He can weigh the evidence and think things through without blocking me. It is interesting how some people can enter difficult conversations and others just can’t.
In the first place, remember there are facts and data. Then there is analysis and opinion. They go hand-in-hand. You act comparable to a computer if you only have facts and data. You are more like a tabloid if you only have analysis and opinion.
Facts and data have an uncanny way of convicting people that there’s more to the story. Analysis and opinion tell people what to think, not how to think. After all, that analysis and opinion is someone else’s conclusion. In the final analysis, your research and openness to new ideas make an intelligent assessment of what is real and what course of action to take, if any. Of course, thinking is hard work.
Subsequently, in a conversation where you cannot let the free flow of information (facts and data) and the exchange of conclusions (analysis and opinion) occur, people come to an impasse.
In any event, it takes maturity. Time teaches us many things. Maybe all that is needed is a healthy respect for others, which opens the door to a future conversation. “The cream always rises to the top,” they say. Ultimately history keeps plowing away at facts, data, analysis, and opinion. Eventually, the truth of the matter comes out.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
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