I owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Dietzler. Thank you, Tom. You have restored my faith in humanity. Let me explain.
Yesterday on a LinkedIn thread evolving from Mark O’Brien’s article Agents of Ourselves, I called something he said “rude.” Based on my experience with political conversations lately, I was steeled and ready to be blasted back.
Tom didn’t blast me. He thanked me. Holy blow-me-away, Batman!
My world has instantaneously changed. That simple comment from Tom dissolved much of my anger. It made me think that we may have a chance to have meaningful conversations that can lead to mutual understanding.
I called his statement “rude” because he used a fairly nasty label for the media. It just hit me wrong. My first thought was that, if we keep throwing out these labels that incite negative feelings, we’ll never get anywhere. And I so desperately want to find a way to move forward. As I said to someone recently, “We used to like each other.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve dropped my share of nasty labels recently, generally with a choice adjective that I learned from my days in the Marine Corps. I’m not proud of that but sometimes, it’s the only way to deal with the build-up of anger and hopelessness.
So, when Tom didn’t come back with a blast of anger but instead demonstrated that he had heard what I said, and [my interpretation] was willing to step back and see my perspective, I got a little teary.
So perhaps there is something actionable that we collectively can consider and possibly act upon:
We resist putting negative labels on our commentary and try to speak in language that is non-judgmental.
Perhaps if the BC360° folks agree and begin to practice this within our dialogues, we may find ourselves less prone to using judgmental language outside BC360°.
What do you think? Is it worth a try?