Originally posted on the Green Bay Press Gazette
Just as we need to regularly make sure that your tools and equipment are in good condition, we need to care for our civility tools. Consequently we need to find ways to direct our bias back to a civil level of communication. Here are a few steps I am suggesting to help us eliminate our own bias and perhaps that of others.
The absolute first step is to admit to ourselves that we do have some biases that need cleaning up. Along with that we may need to take a look at all our strong feelings to assess whether they, too, may be getting out of hand. These biases and strong feelings all need to be written down. It is clearly important that we address each of them until they are no longer interfering with our civility.
Second, we need to go through a process of cleaning up the corrosion of each of our biases. Here you need to consider how you best learn. Some like to hit the hardest first, your strongest and most disruptive bias, because as you proceed the rest becomes easier and easier. Others like to build on starting with the easiest, a relative strong opinion, and work up to the hardest.
Since bias blocks your ability to be inclusive, I believe this is where you are best able to be successful. Now you write the bias that you chose to work on first and write it down on a separate piece of paper. Next you write down what you know to be other opinions. This may be so difficult that you can only come up with one statement. Further research is required.
There are multiple resources to read or view where you need to try to keep your mind focused on understanding this viewpoint. An example from our past is the issue of slavery. You can read about how the south depended on slavery for its economy as well as its lifestyle. Hopefully this research will lead you to an expanded viewpoint: Another individual had a different life experience and viewpoint on the issue. Inclusiveness has been returned to you.
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