Bridging the Gap
I have a story to tell. One with a very important moral at the heart of it. A moral which I believe needs to be remembered in this strange time of virtual outrage and polarising politics.
A wonderful thing happened about a year ago when I was having a conversation with my girlfriend and a close friend. This close friend, let’s call him John, has an unpopular opinion. He doesn’t particularly like homosexuals. Or at the very least, feels that homosexuality is unnatural. We all live in London, my girlfriend, my friend and I. But John grew up in the Caribbean. A place that simply isn’t as socially inclusive to LGBTQI peoples as London; This statement coming from John himself. I’ve already confronted John about this, and we’ve spoken at length, but my girlfriend had no idea about his views.
This article is about the ensuing conversation, what it represents and the lessons we can learn from it.
So one day over a few pints, I, wanting to see if there had been any progress in his rather controversial opinion, asked John, “How you doing with the whole “gay” thing?” — To which he replied — “Still don’t like it.”
My girlfriend being a progressive and global young woman immediately took umbrage to John’s answer, you could almost hear her brain loading intellectual bullets of pure liberal morality, ready to fire straight into John’s face.
She loaded, and fired.
A flurry of questions were hurled, such as “How would you feel if your son was gay?” As well as other questions of a similar vein, all designed to enlighten and shame in equal measure.
What began as an amicable exchange quickly became more heated. The more my girlfriend rebuked John’s opinions, the more John stuck to the belief that being homosexual is unnatural. Even though my partner made some good points, her righteousness did more to push John from the conversation than engage him in the premise of the argument.
It was then I realised the difference between ‘winning an argument’ and convincing someone that your point of view has equal or more credence than theirs.
John was beginning to wilt away, he was being admonished and clearly felt attacked and…