By Jordan Vogel, Student Campaigner
Growing up in the Texas panhandle was a lot like growing up on an island. The only people I knew came from the same place as me, with similar backgrounds and beliefs as mine. I don’t think this upbringing led to any “bad” beliefs, but never having your conclusions challenged can lead you to think other conclusions are irrational.
I saw this last summer when I interned on Capitol Hill. I thought that I was going to meet two types of people. No grey, just black and white, red and blue. To my surprise this wasn’t true. I saw that, although individuals come to different conclusions, they often have similar beliefs behind their conclusions. My mindset changed, and I stopped focusing on the conclusion someone had, but why they had it.
Halfway through my summer, I met volunteers from Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization which advocates for a price on carbon. Before my time in D.C., I wouldn’t have paid attention, simply because climate change was not often discussed in the panhandle. With my new perspective, I saw their underlying concern for the world was the same as my concern for the well-being of my family. By advocating for a carbon price, I’m fighting for both.
I now make it a priority in conversations to speak to people about climate change and carbon pricing. I don’t try to change someone’s belief, but to find common ground. I can’t say every conversation ends well, but it’s always worth having. I urge you to do the same. Even a small challenge to someone’s conclusion, not their belief, can lead to amazing change. Show them how your concerns are the same, and I believe we will find progress.
This post was originally shared by YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY correspondent Nikki Reed. See the original here.Share This