Monday, August 20, 2007

Great Minds Think Alike... Athough Sometimes They Don't KNOW They're Thinking Alike...

I had an interesting exchange over the weekend. I noticed a post over at the blog Of Science Fiction. It was titled My Belated Response to the Latest Blog Wave - Racism in Writing. (That link takes you to the original post.) In it the author, texasboyblue, responds with thoughts spurred by my Color Blind Reading Post.

What struck me on reading it was that I dug everything he was saying. Agreed with all of it and thought it was well-written and thoughtful.

What double-struck me was that something in the tone of it suggested that texasboyblue didn't know we were in complete agreement. So I dropped him a little note basically saying, "Nice post. I agree. You know that I agree, don't you? If not, please check out my original post and I think you'll see we do."

Well, texasboyblue did recheck my post. You can read his response here, if you'd like. As far as I'm concerned, it was a wonderful outcome. A small thing, but nice to make that connection - and interesting to know it worked out because we were thoughtful enough to read each other carefully.

I mention it here as food for thought. I think we're somewhat conditioned to expect to disagree with people who are different from us in obvious ways - especially on things like race. Sometimes we hear disagreement when there isn't even disagreement. And when there is honest disagreement that's where all our focus goes - instead of also saving a little energy (and thought) for developing common ground. That's a shame.

On the other hand, this little exchange between me and this gentleman in Texas shows that with a little effort and respect common ground doesn't even always have to be built - sometimes it already there and all we have to do is see it.

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