Courageous Discourse Rule

I am an unapologetic fan of former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.  And she said something during a book tour a few years back that has stuck with me.  I think of it as a universal truth no matter where you stand on the spectrum of politics, religion, wealth, poverty, race, etc.

She said, and I am paraphrasing here, if your friends are a bunch of like-minded people standing in a circle high fiving each other and doing a lot of nodding, laughing and smiling….

….go get some new friends.

Preaching to the choir is the easy way out and it’s not productive.  It may feel good but it doesn’t move the needle.

There is some data that suggests that you can pretty reliably predict voter behavior based on whether a county has a Whole Foods (metro/urban/liberal) or a Cracker Barrel Retaurant (off major highways/more rural/conservative) in it.   As I understand it there are very few examples of counties that have both a Whole Foods and a Cracker Barrel.

Political speeches are political speeches.  Who is in the audience is what matters.  If you are a conservative and you want me to take you seriously than go give your speech in the parking lot of the local Whole Foods.  If you are a liberal and you want me to take you seriously than go give your speech in the parking lot of the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant.

Hopes and Fears He Says…

The airwaves are filled with folks preaching to the choir because there is a large audience for that stuff.  It feels good, it sounds right, and it validates the audiences  beliefs….

…and it moves the needle not an inch.

Thanks for reading.  I’m turning off the TV and heading out for a sandwich.  I wonder if anyone will be giving a speech in the parking lot.

Probably not.  I am seeking courage….and a sandwich.

 

KenCatmull.com

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