Climate change in arctic regions and Africa
The Beirut explosion and other natural disasters
The California wildfires
Systemic racism and police brutality around the world
Discrimination and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community
Politics and leadership
Humanitarian crises in Yemen, Syria, and Nigeria
Immigration in the US and around the world
Muslim genocide in China
The international public health crisis
These are just a few of the topics that have received more attention this year. While a pandemic isn’t necessarily an event that one would want to live through, this slowed lifestyle has given us more time to think about what we have to be grateful for. Conversations about topics like these can be hard to have as they make people uncomfortable. People may feel detached from the situation. Additionally, one’s views on the topic may be met aggressively with controversy. However, these conversations are necessary to have. Having civil conversations about contentious topics help establish moral values, grow relationships, and lead to us being able to better help one another.
Tips to Having These Conversations
- Remain civil: these conversations do require civility from both parties in order to make headway.
- Listen without judgment to learn: generally, people want to be right, but remember, conversations require talking and listening (not hearing, there is a difference).
This year hasn’t been easy, but I am grateful that because of it people from around the world are having conversations about controversial topics. It is amazing that these conversations have lead people from different walks of life to help, support, and defend one another. Mental burnout, however, is understandable, and if this happens to you, take a break from social media or the news. Try not to let the issues that surround you be what determine your attitude. Look for the good, keep a gratitude journal, or start being grateful for the little things that we so often take for granted.
Does 202 have you stressed out? Check out Tips for Finding the Positives in Trying Times.