By Rev. Linda Taylor. Reprinted from Huffington Post.
I just discovered that the thing I love best about Living Room Conversations is purely selfish.
Living Room Conversations ring a lot of my bells. I am dedicated to peacemaking and conflict resolution. I am crazy about building relationships with and between people who disagree. I am zealous about practicing the civil discourse that can heal our divisions. I am passionate about seeking and discovering the common ground that enables people to work together to bring about positive change in our world. I experience Living Room Conversations as contributing to all these things, and I am in love with the process.
I’m in love with the process, and today I discovered that what I love best about it is all about me. I participated in a Living Room Conversation on the topic of Democracy, Extremism and Outliers. As I entered the conversation, I had no answer to the question: How do you decide what is extreme, or so outside the norm, that it’s “crazy” or “dangerous” to society? Like many of us in the days since Charlottesville, I had reflected on the question from time to time, but I hadn’t found the understanding that I could own.
The answer for me came in the course of listening to others. The comments of two people brought my own thoughts and feelings into clarity. It was one of those light bulb moments when knowing comes full-blown into being.
It turns out that I sometimes don’t know what I think or what I believe until I hear someone else say it. Living Room Conversations has given me more self-awareness. It’s the thing I love best—a precious gift that just requires that I show up, listen, pay attention and speak my truth as I discover it.
Rev. Linda Taylor is a Episcopal Priest, Spiritual Director, and Conflict Coach. Linda’s ministry focuses on helping people deepen relationships with themselves, each other and the Holy. “I am in love with this process. Living Room Conversations teach the kind of respectful civil discourse that is the bedrock of civic empowerment. Relationships are built one conversation at a time, and discovering common values builds relationships that enable us to work together to bring about positive change in our world.”