I was listening to the radio about a debate between the host, Thom Hartmann, a strong progressive and a young libertarian caller. One thing I was struck by in the words of this particular caller was how the worries he had were about himself. He seemed not to notice that those things he was advocating as making life better for himself could actually make things worse for others. He also didn’t seem to consider the sentiment that this is a precedent for others.
The thing I appreciate about the libertarian standpoint is that they look at the world positively. In an ideal world we wouldn’t need government. People would do the right thing and so would business. In small communities where we know people I think such an outlook works. However, on a state wide, national or global scale I think that it is too easy to stop considering that there are people at the other end of the transaction with the business. It is easy to think those people are “not like us”.
The sad part of that is that those people are exactly like us. They want to be safe. They want to have enough healthy food to eat. They want housing. They want a better world for their children. We may, like progressives and libertarians, not agree on how to get there, but we all want the same things.
We are all connected. Instead of trying to make anyone who doesn’t agree with us “other” perhaps we can turn around and listen to each other. In some case everyone is an “other”. No two people are exactly the same. The broader we make our ideals and interests the more likeness we find in others. The more common ground we can find.
Connection is hugely important.
I am reminded of this by this article over at Huffington Post and Kelly the Kitchen Kop. This man sat down to listen. Then he spoke his truth. And someone else listened. They didn’t call names. They found a common ground about what they BOTH wanted to do. I think if we do more listening than shouting we really will end up with a better and a far healthier world