The lecture was over, and it was Q & A time. The subject had been about how to foster real conversation between people with different political perspectives. How to engage in worthwhile dialogue that would lead to more understanding, the chance to rally around common values and concerns, and find meaningful actions to take together.
The speaker was Jim Wallace, a Christian writer, political activist, and founder and editor of Sojourners magazine. A young man raised his hand with a question that was on all of our minds. “Mr. Wallace, I would really like to engage people who see things differently than I do in conversation, but I don’t have any idea how to do that. Where do I even start?”
Jim Wallace looked down, pondering the question for a long moment. And then he said this:
“You knock on the door that is open.”
That lecture happened 20 years ago, and we are more in need of his wise words than ever. His thoughtful answer to that thoughtful question do not just apply to politics, but to every arena of our lives.
Knocking louder on the same locked door isn’t the answer. Finding a different door just might be.