Dealing with Extremism

Somebody just pointed out that OUR problem is not being Left or Right, it is EXTREMISM of being either the Left or Right. Boulder is more Left and has more extremist lefties and Colorado Springs is more Right and has more extremist right-wingers. So my question is/was how can we personally, locally, engage extremism in ALL of its forms? I say WAS above because I believe that as we develop the ABILITY to listen to one another no matter what is being said, when people are allowed to fully express themselves they will naturally start to see that their extreme perspectives are untenable, irrational, and don’t work for them or anyone. And that when a person has to opportunity to fully express themselves they exhaust the resistance and are open to questions about their perspective. If we are smart enough we can ask challenging questions that get the extremist to question their beliefs, which will weaken their resolve. I see that extremism is always a product of fear, which in itself is a product of ignorance. I don’t think this is the ONLY solution, but I do see it as a good start. Of course, it takes practice to be ABLE to listen to another without reaction either externally or internally (mentally/emotionally). I don’t see a lot of people even caring about themselves let alone others and therefore willing to develop that ability.

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