Updated: Oct 29, 2020
I'm struck by the increasing differences that exist between conversations held face to face, through business or personally, and those that take place in the public domain.
And it doesn't seem to matter on the scale. It doesn't matter if it's localised or on the global stage.
I'm fortunate enough to have done business all over the world. Interacted with a huge variety of individuals from all corners of this enormously interesting speck of dust that we inhabit. And it is extremely rare that a conversation has not developed in a positive and useful way. It is always inevitable that when the conversation finishes it is in a place that can be continued.
I firmly believe that it is on our basic set up, in our default settings, that in any interaction with others we seek to find that mutual beneficial way forward. We avoid conflict whenever we can. We want our future to be better than our past.
So, there is something fundamentally wrong with current public discourse. No matter what the topic it does seem that the 'discussion' that surrounds it takes the form of a simplistic, nihilistic two sided argument. I'm right, you're wrong, red not amber, down not up, left not right. And all that is just straight forward dumb ass banter that really has little place outside of a playground if there is any desire to get some kind of positive outcome from the discussion.
There is a mind set change that is required. Unfortunately it doesn't really appear that this is now a small scale or localised change, it seems to be prevalent everywhere, particularly in the West. If we don't acknowledge that we need a change very soon it is going to be increasingly difficult to get out of the habit.
Possibly the most appalling example is the bipartisan politics that is now creating such hostility within the United States. There seems to. be no desire to have a balanced discussion about what might or might not be right, it is just taking the diametrically opposed viewpoint from whomever is currently voicing an opinion.
Quite disturbingly it does also appear that there is no need now to back up any counter argument with some kind of well constructed and factual based stream of consciousness, it seems enough that an emphatic, forceful denial accompanied by voluble levels of anger and dismissal are quite enough. Just shout down the opposition, the loudest most strident voice wins. It really is quite awful.
Here in the United Kingdom we do appear to be hurtling towards the American option as our politicians seem more and more content with bluster and vitriol. And behind and underlying this continuously negative theatre is what would appear to be a campaign to divide us all in to smaller and smaller subsets.
It is us and them, no matter what the topic. This is just a terrible place to be. We need it to change .....