Is America successful? We’re still here, so I guess that’s something. Successful dialogue would be actually talking to one another, requiring both people to speak and listen. Speaking honestly (successfully) would be each person addressing the actual topic rather than casting aspersions, castigating positions, and labeling one another because we don’t agree.
Successful legislation would be passing laws that benefit Americans while not padding the pockets of the elite career politicians. Successful business is usually associated with annual rising profits while minimizing costs. Successful sermons are quantified by more members of congregations who give more money to support the work of that successful pastor. Everyone has their own view or filter defining what constitutes successful.
We’ve quit listening to hear each other, most people I know today listen to “respond,” or listen to “guide” the dialogue to their worldview. Rather than thinking we’re successful by denigrating another person’s views, why not begin to think we are only successful when we can honestly say, “I understand what you are saying, and why you are saying it.” In so many conversations I observed in 2015-2016, I seldom felt people actually heard what the other side was saying, or why it was being said, leaving them clueless as to what was really going on in our country. Neither side was successful in their communication processes.
Yet our country was successful in the “peaceful” transition of power. We will be successful again, when we stop fighting and start listening. We will be successful when we stop fearing the truth, crucifying people for their views, and lashing out like a child throwing a tantrum, when our side doesn’t “win.” We can be successful, we just really aren’t yet.