Here is an interesting piece. It presents a true, real-life situation with which you may identify. Or not. Either way, it's a compelling read about a perspective within a situation that is more prevalent than many may realize.
I’m writing because I just can’t deal with my father anymore. He’s a 65-year-old super right-wing conservative who has basically turned into a total asshole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics. I’m more or less a liberal democrat with very progressive values and I know that people like my dad are going to destroy us all. I don’t have any good times with him anymore. All we do is argue. When I try to spend time with him without talking politics or discussing any current events, there’s still an underlying tension that makes it really uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love him no matter what, but how do I explain to him that his politics are turning him into a monster, destroying the environment, and pushing away the people who care about him?
Thanks for your help,
Son of A Right-Winger
Read the compelling, insightful and useful answer here.
"Andrew" had me right up to this:
"No matter how bad someone may appear, they are truly no worse than us. Our beliefs and behavior don’t make us fundamentally better than others, no matter how satisfying it is to believe otherwise. We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it’s nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it. And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures."
Taking the author at face value, I suggest most individuals are quite "fundamentally better" than a Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Manson, Gacy and other sociopaths. How does one "see things from" their "point of view? Only a few good courses in Abnormal Psych might help me "understand" the twisted mind that wants to kill me because of my race, religion or food preference. My "sanity" depends on clear, rational, objective, analysis about the people and circumstances I am facing - if my "survival" has any chance of surviving. Otherwise, it was a damn fine response.