To You Who Will Never Read This

I don’t want to be too presumptuous, but I think the biggest problem with our relationship is lack of communication. If you’re reading this now, well, you probably agree with a lot of the beliefs and ideals that I value. We probably read news from similar organizations and follow the same types of people on Twitter. Our friends probably look alike and we probably even listen to similar music. We talk all the time and practically always agree.

But if you’re someone who’s not reading this, honestly, I think our relationship is in trouble. We don’t often see or hear each other and when we do, we’re both so focused on what the other is saying or doing that’s wrong that we barely hear anything else. There may have been a time when we might listen to what the other has to say politely, but those days are long gone. We’ve both said some hurtful stuff and done some stupid things and frankly, I find you kind of offensive. I think you’re full of fear and ignorance and…well, there I go again. It’s so easy to focus on what I don’t agree with when you talk—I know you know what I mean.

But here’s the thing: I do believe that fundamentally you and I do have some things we can agree on. For instance, I like to feel safe in my home, what about you? I bet you like having the opportunity to work and make a fair wage, right? And I bet you want your kids to be happy, healthy, safe, and well educated, yes? Oh I know, we certainly can’t agree on the details of how that gets done or what that looks like exactly, but when you strip away the details, there are things we have in common. And I notice that when I try to focus on what we have in common, I like you more and more.

Sure, we’ll never hang out on the weekends or vacation together, but I think there’s still a chance for us to learn from each other. Of course that depends on both of us being willing to understand each other rather than always trying so hard to be understood. And it would mean you’d have to read this and think about it, and I’m sure you’ll never even see this. But who knows? The way things trickle through the internet sometimes surprises me, so if you do see this, let me know what you think. I’m listening.