Friday, January 14, 2011

Small Steps

My friend Frank Hill with an interesting post talking about talking with people who differ from you on issues, big and small.

Frank and I met via correspondence around one of the columns I wrote on health reform for the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer. We were disagreeing about some aspect of the pending health reform law (I don't even remember what) but we started talking and sharing our distinct perspectives (Frank was Chief of Staff for Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and Rep. Alex McMillan from Charlotte).

The more we talked, the more we realized that our basic motivation for being involved in public policy discourse was fear about what we are leaving for our children, both in terms of debt, but also the seeming inability of our system to practically solve problems. We have become friends and have a project or two cooking together. Meeting and talking with Frank actually has helped me to clarify what I believe about some issues, and also to appreciate and see how 'the other side' thinks about some of them. However, Frank is no longer 'the other side' but now a friend.

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