It’s Not a Room Full of Danas | By Dana Lede
Before writing I should probably introduce myself because most people won’t know me. My name is Dana and I’m a middle school teacher by day, secret UMC nerd by night.
Sometimes I wonder why people worry about debate at plenary every year (or focus sessions for that matter). I mean, either the legislation is horrible and should be voted down or it’s amazing and should most definitely be approved, right? But then I remember that we aren’t in a room full of Danas, we are in a room full of diverse, interesting people who have different life experiences and ideas. And that makes things much more complicated. Here’s the issue: Sometimes, every once in awhile, I tend to get a little heated.
I am very passionate about my beliefs, but I must remember that so are other people, who may also have different beliefs than mine. Having a healthy debate with someone forces me to clearly define my stance and could either strengthen my belief or change it. This only works though, if I can empathize with others’ views, understanding where they are coming from even if I don’t agree.
I want to challenge myself and everyone else at Conference this weekend to focus on that word: EMPATHY. When listening to points with which you disagree, try to empathize with the person speaking. I promise it will only either strengthen your opinion or let you see a different perspective. Let us strive for grace in all that we do, in all of our conversations today!
Dana is a member of Kent UMC.