This week, I attended two events that on the surface would not seem to have much relevance to each other, but in reality they certainly did.
The first event was the Richmond Forum featuring Krista Tippett. Krista Tippett is an American journalist and author who may be best known for her public radio program and podcast "On Being." One of the most important things I heard that night was how transformative a conversation can be if we ask "generous questions," followed by "attentive listening."
In our very polarized environment, I think that this advice is more important than ever before. Let’s face it, when many of us meet new people and some we know, one of the first things we are thinking about is a person’s politics.
The other event I attended was a Hanover County Leadership dinner hosted by the Hanover Business Council of ChamberRVA. This was a mix of elected and appointed county officials and various business people. I am sure that there were mixed politics in the room, but I think it is fair to say that everybody had a good time.
We talked policy, politics, family and education. There was a lot of dialogue, laughter, learning and fun. But what I found to be a common thread was "generous questions and attentive listening."
It may take more effort these days to have a real, honest dialogue, but I believe that we have more in common than we think. Let’s focus on that!