Never talk about politics and religion– so the Dale Carnegie saying goes. In order to Win Friends and Influence People, we’re advised to avoid controversy at all costs. If we want to make friends, we’re told, we’d be better off avoiding the particularly divisive topics of politics and religion. But, is there something to be gained by tackling the potential controversy which arises in discussions of these topics?
Of course, more thought and care is needed in order to talk about these topics. We must consider the potential flaws of our own beliefs, and we must be willing to consider the perspectives of others- without these elements, there is little reason for politics and religion to become talking points at all.
When we do take the time to consider the multifaceted viewpoints of politics and religion, we allow ourselves to open up to new perspectives and possibilities. Politics and religion are pluralistic in their meanings, in how they are understood as concepts. Across cultures they mean different things, and have their own separate controversies in different countries.
There are spaces which are unsuited to discussions of politics and religion, but there are also times when we must face the vast reality of these concepts in our world, and the ways in which their divisive nature effects us. Careful discussions between thoughtful people can lead to new beginnings and collaboration towards progression- perhaps talking about politics and religion could indeed earn us friends and influence, if we are willing to take the time to do it right.
Do you talk about politics and religion, or avoid them as controversial topics?
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