Labels. As soon as we apply one — conservative, liberal, right-wing whacko,
left-wing loon — we stop listening. The label tells us all we need to know, we think.
No, it doesn’t. It’s just an excuse not to think about nuances or shades of gray or how we can make progress on so many seemingly insurmountable challenges we face as a nation. The solutions are there — but we can’t find them through the haze of stereotyped labels that substitute for critical thinking.
Common sense and candor reminds us that people we admire have blind spots of wrongheaded beliefs and people we disdain sometimes hit the nail on the head. If only we refuse the labels, listen and think.
A former reporter and editor, C.J. Benham has worked for and with politicians, elected officials, physicians, business CEOs and visionary non-profit leaders. With a journalist’s eye for observing the things people do and say, Benham has come to appreciate that a little common sense goes a long way in this crazy world and candor increases with age.