Changing policies, changing minds

There’s a tension between standing up for what is right, unapologetically and strongly, and the need to “meet people where they are” to have a productive dialogue and, frankly, to having the best chance to change their minds. The first works well for policy changes, the second better interpersonally.

I don’t have much to say about this, other than I find it interesting the different roles we play in our lives with others. There is no virtue that is “the” virtue to be pursued above all others. There is no ethical rule that can/should be asserted universally in all situations. (Sorry, Kant.)

There are certainly times when we need to listen to others and take their opinions into consideration. There are also time when we need to implement policies that address injustices and inequalities, even when some people don’t like them and make a fuss. (If we waited for everyone to be “on board” with progress, we would never make progress.)

Making this world better is such a difficult, complex thing, complex because human psychology is perhaps the most maddeningly complex phenomenon in the observable universe. We need freedom and we need rules. We don’t know ourselves fully and certainly don’t know others well. Instituting good is even more difficult considering that ethics is, ultimately, a construct — an important, intuitive construct, but a construct nonetheless. It requires and when well-done involves a myriad of approaches, a myriad of considerations, a myriad of communication styles, and a foundational awareness of the complexity of the people in the relationships governed by ethical and political policies.

HOW DO WE EVEN DO THIS. It’s a marvel of humanity that we manage to make things good at all, to become more ethical and to make the world demonstrably better as time goes by. I love humanity for that.


    1. Ha! This cracked me up. Also, how funny is it that we were just talking about this? I had this post drafted for a while but never published, then I finish writing it and we start talking about it! Fate. Or coincidence. I’ll pretend fate. πŸ˜‰


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