Thanks for this, Tara. The line that stands out for me is “It’s impossible to feel curious, for example, while also feeling threatened.” I have been noticing more and more the rigidity of thought and opinion around the issue of vaccination and mandates. On the one side, one’s bodily autonomy is being threatened - nothing more basic or vitally important than that. On the other, I hear the repeated fear expressed that a hospital bed will not be available when they or a loved one needs one (because of the other side’s “selfishness”). There seems to be very little, if any, movement around these positions. They are entrenched. However, the latter position is sanctioned and actively promoted by government and health officials. Not once have I heard these parties say that freedom of bodily choice is a valid stance. Where does one go from there?

People become even more committed to and even “stuck” in their stance, their “right” views. How can we possibly solve social problems if we are not curious about each other’s experience? An opening of minds and hearts is desperately needed to move forward as a society. That has to be the revolution, as otherwise we will stay in the same polarized state.

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For Tara: wanted to say that I am really enjoying your writing and interviews, and the mix of topics you cover is just right. I just now happily converted to paid sub.

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A very engaging, well written and thought provoking article. Thank you. Who was it that said, “he who knows only their side of an issue knows nothing at all”? I love the notion of discussing to the outer edges of what we know so as to venture into our unknowns for enlightenment

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Jan 29, 2022·edited Jan 29, 2022

"..... have come out of difficult times before — one of them took a civil war...."

The reason the Civil War finished was that one side (the North) destroyed the South ....so that resistance was no longer possible.

I think the Civil war is an inappropriate example of showing different sides "...came to a set of adjustments, both locally and nationally, to move in a different direction...."

From wikipedia

Sherman's March to the Sea .......The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. His forces followed a "scorched earth" policy, destroying military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property, disrupting the Confederacy's economy and transportation networks.

The operation broke the back of the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender.

.....one of the major campaigns of the war, and is taught by some historians as an early example of modern warfare or total war.

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Thanks for some excellent thinking about a critical topic. Years ago I ran across a team who were developing methods for hosting dialogue about contentious issues between opposing parties. Their work was called the Public Conversation Project - https://www.civicus.org/documents/toolkits/PGX_D_Public%20Conversations.pdf One of the key features of their work is to begin with the experiences that led to the positions people hold rather than the opinions that are a result of these experiences. When I held such a conversation about euthanasia I found that after people finished talking about their favourite dog as a child who had been out down with out their knowledge and an uncle suffering from advanced Lou Gehrig's disease and desperately asking for help ending his suffering people forgot which side of the argument they were on.

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Oy vey! The royal we. What is it with The Clean? Not everyone is polarized, Tara. As much as The Party wants it, profits from it, delights in it:


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Very thoughtful column Tara. Let's hope we're all still around to see some sort of societal reconciliation.

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