"The three of us began with some diverging ideas which I believe we still hold, but we go on growing in our own thought and in understanding and respect for each other. None of us, I think, holds any hard feelings, and in this world of bloodshed, that's reason enough for gladness."
I want to continue the discussion of discussion for one more week, primarily because I really want to give Mr. Pond a chance to add his thoughts, but also because my parents are coming into town tomorrow, and I'm busy.
Jenna's response reminds me of the differences that inspired our dialogue to begin with. We do have some serious ones - ones which might have, given different treatment, divided rather than united us. As it is, I think our discussions have given me a fuller sense of the people behind the ideas, and people are much harder to reject. I like the distinction she makes between changing minds and developing ones.
It's easier to notice dehumanizing language when you know someone on the other side of any argument, whether relatively light, or very serious. I'm learning this all the time, and I'm realizing that one of the most refreshing things about this discussion is it's freedom from artistic evangelism and the inspiration our discussions give me to try new things. We will probably never agree on Harry Potter, Twilight, or mediocrity, but, to paraphrase Mr. Pond, I like and respect my blogging friends. That tells me there is something worth considering, a reason to keep the conversation going.
But that isn't the only way to avoid falling into the "us vs. them" trap of argumentation. It's the easiest way, another way is to see the world with eyes of love and assume the same of others. After all, even if some of the critics are right, and Twilight was written under the inspiration of demons, it's not likely the author conjured them up intentionally, to seduce young readers. Common understanding, a beautiful thing to build.
Don't be disappointed, next week I'll be back with a different topic, until then, Mr. Pond, I'm looking forward to your response, and Jenna's if she has anything else to add.