What am I referring to?
People who can't have a discussion that involves empathetic discussion.
What is empathy?
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
It can be as simple as saying to your child, "I understand how you might feel that way." Or to your wife, "You feel very strongly about that issue, I can appreciate why, given your experience." Or to your coworker, "That makes sense..." before you offer your opinion. It's having high EQ -- something that many with IQ simply don't possess.
Your argument has a chance of being heard when you stop and listen to the other side's point of view. When you refuse to acknowledge that the other person just might have a point, you turn them completely off to any chance of hearing YOUR point of view. How incredibly short-sighted do you have to be? If you want to be heard, you first have to hear!
I am so frustrated by a world of angry, one-sided purists. It's draining. It's demoralizing. I lose respect for the other person when I don't see them acknowledging my analysis. After a while, I wonder if it is worth being anywhere near them -- as I know I simply won't ever see eye to eye with them. What's the point? Seriously. All this talk about having an "honest dialogue" is nothing if you don't want to hear why someone is thinking the way they are.
Change can only happen when everyone is willing to look through the eyes of another -- to examine problems from many angles. I know it isn't easy, but we'll never progress if we keep going like this.
This debate we are having on gun rights is killing our nation. I want to stand up and scream "Your right to bear arms does not trump anyone's right to live." But, I appreciate that there are responsible gun owners. Taking guns away solves no problems. Enforcing laws already on the books helps, but not completely. Getting adequate mental health care -- treating the mind like we do the body -- that is what we need to do. And yes, we need to reduce the number of guns in circulation. There is just no reason to have millions of them out there. That's illogical. Why can't we sit and talk logically about these issues? Why can't we solve problems together instead of continuing to stand on principles?