Listening to Our Better Angels
Red, blue, rich, poor, country, city, left or right. Chances are you probably fall into one of those categories. And you may be quite happy where you are. The people of Better Angels believe there’s still value in talking, and they’ve come up with a way of doing it that actually seems to bring people together.
“There’s widespread disgust with the way people on TV act toward one another politically. I do believe that we have it within us to go in a different direction.” – David Blankenhorn
“We tend to think people are more polarized than they are.” – Michelle Brody
David Blankenhorn, Co-founder and president, Better Angels
Michelle Brody, Workshop moderator, Better Angels
Find a Better Angels workshop in your state: www.better-angels.org/get-involved
Introduction by Laura:
“We are not enemies, but friends,” Abraham Lincoln told a divided America in his first inaugural address as much of the country prepared for civil war. “We must not be enemies, though, passion may have strained. It must not break our bonds of affection,” he said. “Instead, we must call upon the better angels of our nature.”
Well, we know how that worked out. The bloodiest war in American history. 2% of the entire population dead, equivalent to some six million people today. Obviously, no one wants a repeat of that. But, the country is pretty divided and much of our money media seem to profit off opposing Red and Blue camps.
So, what else is out there? A group calling itself Better Angels is dedicated to creating working and listening space for people of ostensibly opposing views, to depolarize, they say. Here to tell us about it, Better Angels co-founder David Blankenhorn and clinical psychologist Michelle Brody. She’s one of the workshop moderators with the group.