“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” – Catherine M. Wallace
My daughter always tells me big stuff.
Here’s the latest big thing. She suggested tonight that I might find the following link interesting: How to talk to a climate-change denier, by George Marshall. The video is quite engaging, and the text itself is interesting. All of it appears on a website called Talking Climate: The Gateway to Research on Climate Change Communication.
Maybe the rest of you have known of this website all along. And followed it. I confess to having done neither. Never heard of it until my daughter put me onto it. Haven’t had a chance to check out the other links, to gain any idea of how much I might like or find fault with the website as a whole.
But I do know that I liked this video. A lot.
For three reasons.
First, this suggested route doesn’t require that we command the whole of the climate change argument and have all the details at our fingertips. For some who are expert in the big picture and the detailed intricacies of the climate change arguments, the George Marshall approach might not be that appealing. But for the other 99.999% of the human race, the rest of us, even those of us who know a little of the science, this looks like a pretty good way to go. It looks doable. It’s couched in terms of a few simple notions.
Second, the five principles George Marshall suggests are principles that you and I could well apply to any discussion, on any subject that matters. Faith. Politics. Fact is, you can use these same rules if you’re among the unconvinced, and you’re talking to a rabid proponent of climate change. The rules cut both ways.
Marshall simply suggests that we:
- Show respect
- Hold our views
- Put them (our views) in the context of our personal journey
- Frame them in terms of our worldview
- Show how they offer rewards.
(Want more details? You should. Best to watch the video. In 21st-century perspective, it’s rather long…20 minutes. So wait until you have a bit of time.)
Third, my daughter doesn’t just mouth these rules; she lives by these rules. For me to watch this video was to understand how she works, how she relates to the world. Her kids. Her husband.