Epiphanies

  • What, from previous sessions, has come back around to speak to you?
  • Which of the homework exercises have had an unexpected impact on your outlook?
  • Where is this path leading you?

Questions for Discernment

  • Are we better off avoiding discussing subjects like politics and religion, or worse off?
  • Caitlin and Lauren agreed together to have political discussions where neither person would attempt to ‘win’. What would happen if only one party, but not the other, were to decide not to try and ‘win’?
  • How did you become close friends with that person you love who is your polar opposite when it comes to topics like politics or religion? How can you create more of these relationships?
  • What changes a relationship from being ‘acquaintances’ to being ‘best friends’? What changes ‘like’ to ‘love’? How can you intentionally deepen your relationship with others?

Homework Exercises

  • Offer to take a friend who has ‘polar opposite’ views than you about a hot topic to meet with you for coffee or a meal. Invite them to tell you what leads them to the position that they hold, without telling them why you oppose it, or why you hold the position you hold. Listen. Be uncomfortable. Do not judge, defend, or attack. Just Listen.
  • Seize an opportunity to be a source of support and comfort to someone who clearly needs it who is not an intimate friend – whether or not you are the best or most appropriate person to be providing that support.

For Contemplation

What if, in these heated moments, we chose dialogue over debate? When we engage in dialogue, we flip the script. We replace our ego and our desire to win with curiosity, empathy and a desire to learn. Instead of coming from a place of judgment, we are genuinely interested in the other person’s experiences, their values and their concerns. — Lauran Arledge