Letter to the editor – Mayoral Debate

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Dear Editor,

I was able to watch the mayoral debate thanks to the efforts of the NGTimes and the municipality to get the video online – thank you so much for doing that. I’m a father with a young child, and I wasn’t able to get out in person – this made a huge difference for me.

In a moment that has been discussed at length in other places, a candidate had some flippant words for a member of the audience. Without jumping into the details of what was happening in that moment, I do think it’s a great example of how far our discourse has fallen in political conversations. Passion is great, but I would argue compassion is even greater. If we listened to everyone we discussed politics with compassionately, really listened, whether we agreed with them or not, I think we would be making huge steps towards a better society. That probably sounds a little pie in the sky, but if we really cared for and listened to people we disagreed with, I think we would find common ground. So my plea to everyone in the coming weeks is this – when you engage in political discourse, take a moment to listen to the other side. Pause. Don’t think about your rebuttal, what you’re going to say next, what you think is important – just listen. I think you might find it opens up your heart as well as theirs.

Justin Ralph

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