Part II: When, How and Why have your most strongly held views changed?
A week ago I asked How, When and Why people have changed strongly held beliefs.
The answers were exceedingly rich, even as they were given embodied both personal and interpersonal examples of lived and, indeed “living,” in-situ transformations. Far from detached or observational, discussants expressed deep nuance about themselves and persistently engaged with others of diverse ages, perspectives and geographies in vibrant co-reflections.
There were, as human conversations go, divergences and occasional disagreements. These and the sustained connective momentum throughout the thread demonstrated energy and passion for the topic – and, in many ways, each other as co-stakeholders of sorts in mutual self- and other discoveries.
As these unfolded seeds of this follow-up question were planted and coaxed. A call to continue, perhaps even deepen, the dialogue was made.
To orient this phase, consider these questions:
1. If you engaged in or observed the first conversation: Did your view of changes you’ve made evolve in any way due to the discussion? If so, what was the impact of others’ voices you heard in the conversation on your changed views?
2. How, when and why do we notice our truths converging with others? And conversely: how, when and why do we notice our truths diverging from others?
3. How can self/other discoveries wherein both agreements and disagreements are dynamically engaged – as they emerge -- be meaningful, transformative or productive for both/all?
I’m eager to see where this “go-deeper” conversation goes.
Many thanks, again!
Closing Statement from Andrea Morisette Grazzini
When I posed this question I expected the momentum of the original conversation would carry-over a multidimensional chorus of "inner-voices," as participant Lindsay referred to it. Momentum was certainly achieved.
What of it was constructive is more complicated to discern.
Of the three questions I posed to orient the topic #2 elicited the most visible energy. What came though clearly was the effect of reactivity as a powerful conversational contagion. In this case, translated by much difference and divergence.
The evidence of this lies mostly in what can’t be seen.
First is the absence of numerous comments that no longer remain, traces of which are hinted at only by notations they have been “Removed.” These dialogic divergences featured escalating exchanges that catalyzed more, devolving into various and accumulating personal disparagements.
Second is the absence of unknowable comments. One wonders what might have been offered, were it not for ever-present off-topic tensions.
At several turning points various participants engaged with some success to redirect to the topic. As they did new, richly textured voices offered stories and fresh perspectives on how change has and can occur in transformative ways for themselves and with others.
By the broadest definition: what remains, what’s been retracted and what hasn’t been said all amount to relational change.
It’s critical to note which have been reductive, rather than constructive to the ideals of the conversation. Herein lie complicated answers that are perhaps nearly as powerful as those so clearly expressed.
I'm grateful for those who persisted by modeling, inviting and engaging with diverse, dimensional dialogues here. Their presence was a powerful example of how counter-contagions of support can scaffold shared ideals and intent when unproductive behaviors threaten to topple progress. And give example to constructivist-style, dynamically construed paths to new views.