I am mostly an extrovert (which doesn't surprise those that know me) and enjoy spending time with people. Part of that is tied into my desire for open conversation and the exchange of ideas. I have not always effectively practiced this, but I strive to open myself up to new ways of thinking. I believe that the honest, respectful dialogue provides the opportunity for mutual respect and understanding. It allows us the chance to be in agreement on parts of issues while respecting our individual rights to stand on our differences at the same time. It's a practice that proves that people can honor each other while not being in 100% agreement with every part of their belief system.
Imagine the difference in our communities if we could convince people to sit calmly and find common ground without demeaning each other. This wouldn't just transform leaders, but would bring peace and understanding our neighborhoods. I believe it would reveal that we have more in common with people than we might think. Once we see this foundational truth we'll work harder to maintain the unity we are all clamoring to see.