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Communication and thinking are MIA

Date published: 1/9/2013

Communication and thinking are MIA

I look forward to the upcoming year with hope and trepidation. In our fast-paced, text-message, Twitter world, we have forgotten how to look closely at issues facing us and communicate about them. A fiscal cliff. A continuing war. The health care act. And now, the gun-control debate.

I see most people, on any given issue, falling into "camps-for" or "camps-against," merely on momentary thoughts based on core principles we've always held.

We then turn to social media, to tell the world our thoughts with a slogan. Posting slogans--"from my cold dead hands" or "gun control now"--display this. It also makes us less likely to hear an opposing point of view based on principles just as sound.

The issues we face will not be solved on Facebook. We must speak openly and earnestly but also listen to opposing points of view and not attack the character of one who holds it.

While we may chide Congress on a failure to come to a compromise, as a society we are guilty of the same thing. Write your representatives: Tell them to come to workable solutions, not "hold the platform."

Compromise is not defeat or sellout of your principles. It is how democratic republics work and survive. There are valid arguments on both sides, but only compromise is how we can return to "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

James Istre